07.10.14

Gesture control for virtual reality

AUTHOR: Inavate

Tomáš “Frooxius” Mariancík has a history of working on projects related to virtual reality. His latest efforts focus on making use of the Oculus Rift development kit and Leap Motion controller to increase the level of immersion offered by VR headsets. Targeted at the education sector for now, Mariancík’s prototype aims to deliver an intuitive virtual reality user-interface that allows you to reach into the VR world and control the environment with your hands.

The prototype works using a combination of Oculus Rift DK2 and its positional head tracking fused with a Rift-mounted Leap Motion controller. The Leap Motion Controller is responsible for detecting the user’s hands as well as fingers and then translating their gestures and movements into similar actions in virtual reality. Mariancík has come up with a series of gesture based controls to utilize the new features of his prototype.

At present the prototype presents a human skeleton that can be interacted with. The video above shows how objects in virtual reality can be manipulation using real life hand gestures. The positional tracking made available with the Oculus Rift DK2 makes the interactions possible.

Virtual reality has always been an important segment of professional AV, with a number of applications demanding intense immersion. For industries such as oil and gas as well as research and development, CAVES and video-walls have been the chosen options for immersive displays. VR headsets have usually been less desired due to their exclusionary nature. But if VR headsets are able to increase their immersive features, AV professionals and end-users will undoubtedly have to take them into consideration.