Leap Motion, the company behind the hand-tracking depth sensor, recently tweeted out another through-the-headset view of a prototype UI, this time centered on how some simple elements might work in the “augmented office” of the near future.

Using the company’s prototype dev kit, dubbed Project North Star, Leap Motion serves up another host of interesting design concepts. Keeping the user interface fairly muted until it’s needed, the company shows how a ‘minimized’ AR element like an event reminder could hide in plain sight.

By moving your hand closer to the small white bar, which is projected to appear on the edge of a desk, you can produce a 2D window, pick it up, place it in mid-air, and even lay it down flat on a desk. Notably, the windows appear to have a ‘weightiness’ about them that make them appear more natural in the environment.

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The company says everything in the video “is filmed directly through the headset. Zero trickery.”

“Right now our work in AR is extremely early, and there are many steps between prototyping and product,” the company said in a follow-up tweet. “We’re interested in inclusive design and accessibility, but given that we don’t plan on releasing our own headset, in the context of this project it would be a dead end.”

Image courtesy Leap Motion

First revealed earlier this month, the Project North Star AR headset boasts a 100 degree field of view, low latency, and high-resolution. Leap Motion plans to open-source the design of the device, saying that such a headset could cost “under $100 dollars to produce at scale.”

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  • Gato Satanista

    Magic leap should learn with the leap motion team about how to do pr.

  • daveinpublic

    Incredible, got that rush of seeing something new that I don’t get very often

    • dk
      • jj

        as someone whos working with the leap motion, I can assure you that his fingers are being tracked SO MUCH BETTER than their previous editions. That looks almost perfect even with fast finger movement

        • dk

          well the tracking is great since the orion update ….has there been a newer update …..also they have a slightly better sensor but it’s not sold to consumers or hmd companies yet

  • I’d love to believe an AR headset could cost around $100…. but I doubt it. The interface looks great though.

  • They’re awesome at designing interfaces

  • Lucidfeuer

    I wish Leap would not waste resources and budgets on this false market segment that are AR glasses (a product that won’t be practical until 10-15 years in the future, we don’t even have the tech).

    Instead would invest in the current possibilities (which are actually an essential part of Virtual headsets) which is pass-through AR, and it would be great in fact if they released they own AR/VR headset with their hand-tracking integration. Something in the line of current products but that goes all the way where headset were originally supposed to go in 2015/6, an inside-out and hand tracked headset with pass-through AR.

    • NooYawker

      But if they get a patent for anything they can cash in for years to come.

      • Zachary Scott Dickerson

        Patent trolling 101. Yeah I have ideas, but tech don’t exist, so pay me when it does.

        • NooYawker

          it sucks and the patent system needs a total revision to be brought up to date with today’s tech. But that’s the reality. Because you’re idea and work will be patented by someone else and suddenly you’ll have to pay some patent troll.

          • Zachary Scott Dickerson

            Yes, I have 1 patent so far granted, 2 more on the way, and several that are dealing with trolls. People whom had ideas years ago, but failed to product a product… but because my product is similar enough to be blocked, I have to pay them a royalty, or find a way around their patent. It’s bullshit system. It needs to exist for copycats, but needs 1-2 year delay where you can’t hold the patent if not selling anything related. It stifles invention when having to deal with that, and fucking China don’t give a fuck and does what they want, so gotta deal with that too.

          • NooYawker

            It’s becoming increasingly difficult to remain independent. You might have a great solid patent but it doesn’t matter because a patent troll will contest you and try to break you will legal fees. Its not right. The system is completely broken.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Leap Motion is not a public company, they have no point in “patent-valuating” unless they’re planning to sell a tech that already way too few companies use.

        Also no, you can’t patent an “idea” and have to have the actual tech (or working prototype of) to patent something.

        • NooYawker

          Didn’t blackberry lose 100’s of millions to NTP, a company that makes no products, has no tech but some patents about email on a phone?

          • Alex Butera

            yes, @lucidfeuer:disqus is completely talking out of his ass, don’t mind him.

          • jj

            yeah hes been doing that for a while now….

          • Lucidfeuer

            NTP has no product or no tech? Think again…then they’re one of the most renown patent troll company, so in a sense you’re right.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Leap Motion is not a public company, they have no point in “patent-valuating” unless they’re planning to sell a tech that already way too few companies use.

        Also no, you can’t patent an “idea” and have to have the actual tech (or working prototype of) to patent something.

    • jj

      well honestly, the reason microsoft isnt going all-in with pass through is because they believe it will take longer to develop good pass through than it will to develop reflective (Hololens like) glass ware. So they are betting on us surpassing pass through cameras and this is mostly because of the refresh rate of the camera on top of then passing that to the software and then to the users eye, which creates to much latency to where they don’t think we will get above 90 fps any time soon with pass through. I was told this by microsoft employees that i know who worked directly with the “Mixed reality” headsets.

      • Lucidfeuer

        “believe it will take longer to develop good pass through than it will to develop reflective (Hololens like) glass ware” which is like believing it will take longer to develop autonomous car than to develop flying cars…

        This doesn’t make one sense in scientific research terms, the technology underlaying light-fields glasses is still a huge way off compared to pass-through AR which is mostly a matter of (complicated) computer vision and software.

        • JJ

          Ok well this isn’t debatable.

          Like I said this was directly from their employees mouth that the technology underlying light-field glasses is closer than it is for pass-through AR.

          Pass through does not work good at this time despite of what you think. Again like i said they know how much processing it takes to not only pass the video through in real time but digest it and adapt their augmented display. They say it will take longer to get that worked than it will for light-field based headsets to do the same thing because it is a tremendous amount of data to even do a 720p small window display and you simply cannot pass data fast enough, they are at the current usb bandwidth limit. as well all of the current ar cameras can only capture around 60 fps but paired with how they cannot line up with your eyes perspective because of the forward offset, it makes for a jarring experience.

          Have you used the ZED or vive pro like i have and experienced this for yourself?

          You have it reversed and that is understandable because it is counter-intuitive. It seems like pass through tech. is going to be working properly before light-field tech works properly, but Microsoft is betting otherwise.

          I honestly don’t even have to prove my point here because Microsoft is doing that for me with their choice of actions. They are not working on pass through they are making the conscious decision to stick with light-fields.

          • Lucidfeuer

            I have other sources, in France, working in the field, but they have a completely different approach: pass-through video doesn’t have to be perfect or work as eye-sight works, which is one of the biggest problem hindering even VR.

            Pass-through AR has to start somewhere, and while I’m aware of the challenges, the PT.AR headset I tried (a prototype, but there’s also the Varjo that is commercially available) worked exactly as intended for now: you see a 60hz (higher being harder but certainly not difficult compared to light-field) in a non-warped/adapted format (the perspective offset your mentioned) but it does track environment and object well enough like you can already expect from any AR device, or in fact smartphones that are too compatible with pass-through AR.

            And that’s exactly what I expected from VR headset as far back as 2016 because that’s exactly how it starts. That’s like hand-tracking: if there was no Leap Motion to say “hey it’s okay, hands do not have to be tracked at 1:1 latency (which is impossible) it’s about improvising the hands animation and adaptation relative to the context and interaction (which is way smarter)”, there would be absolutely no hand-tracking but certainly a handful of engineer to say that’s impossible or complicated.

          • JJ

            Hey thats a really educated answer, thanks for sharing with me.

            It seems like were both referring to opposing opinions of people that are deeper in the industry. So now i’m just going to see how it plays out.