The New 'Gemini' Software Overhaul from Ultra leap drastically improves two-handed interactions
Ultra leap, the company behind the hand-tracking controller for Leap Motion, has released a Developer Preview of its Gemini hand-tracking engine. By many accounts, the latest software overhaul by Ultra leap increases the ability of the company's camera modules to make two-handed interactions more precise and stable.
Gemini is now available in the Windows 10 Developer Preview and works with all existing Leap Motion controllers, and the more recent Stereo IR 170 camera module from Ultra leap.
Its Gemini (V5) engine said to provide better smoothness, pose fidelity, and robustness compared to Orion (V4), which was released in June 2018. Ultra leap says it also enhances hand initialization and brings "significantly better performance with two-hand interactions."
The solidity of Gemini (V5) is quite amazing, as seen in the gif below. Not only are both hands more precisely tracked, but occlusion also seems to be much less of a problem, as fingers interlock and move with comparative ease in front of each other.
Ultra leap integrates Gemini into several XR headsets, including the Varjo VR-3 and XR-3 headsets, and the reference design of the Qualcomm Snapdragon XR2 5G, which uses Ultra leap hardware.
XR publication Skarred Ghost's Antony Vitillo went hands on with Gemini using his first-generation Leap Motion tracker. To him, the software overhaul is "the best hands-tracking system I've seen on all headsets for the relationships between two hands so far."
The stability of two-handed interactions really surprised me. I could make the fingers of my two hands cross and interweave [together] for the first time, and the tracking continued to work reliably.'
Because of its comparatively small field of view, Vitillo's five-year-old Leap Motion presents somewhat of a roadblock, but Ultra leap says with its updated IR 170 camera module that "hands will almost certainly tracked before they come into your sight."
To prepare for the next wave of AR and VR headsets, Ultra leap hopes its new software will allow developers to create hand-tracking-focused applications to make more prominent use of the technology. In particular, Facebook's standalone Oculus Quest involves hand-tracking for use within its system UI and a handful of apps, but it has not yet become a standard input method.
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