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Leap Motion Unveils Open Augmented Reality Platform

Leap Motion has announced the creation of a software and hardware platform for the development of augmented reality helmets. She created a standard version of the helmet and plans in the coming weeks to publish documentation on the hardware and software, on the basis of which third-party developers will be able to create their devices, according to a company blog.

In the past few years, large companies are engaged in the development and production of virtual reality helmets. But some experts in this field consider no less promising augmented reality, in which virtual objects “overlap” with the image of the real world. Augmented reality serial devices already exist – for example, Microsoft produces Hololens glasses, but they have several technological flaws, and their application scenarios are less developed than for virtual reality devices.

The company Leap Motion, engaged presented an open platform of augmented reality and created a prototype of demonstration glasses. The device has two screens with a resolution of 1600 by 1440 pixels and a refresh rate of 120 hertz. In front of the screens there are two transparent plastic reflectors that allow the user to see the real world and the reflection placed on it from the displays. The viewing angle in such a helmet is 95 degrees vertically and 70 degrees horizontally. The company claims that this is more than any augmented reality glasses that exist today. A sensor is installed on top of them, which monitors the movement of the user's hands and in real time creates their three-dimensional model, including information on the position of all joints.

The company announced that next week it will publish software and documentation for the hardware of the platform so that third-party developers can create on their base their augmented reality devices. For several weeks before the announcement of the new platform, the company showed demonstrations of software developments in this area, for example, a prototype system that allows virtual user interfaces to be displayed on the user's hands, for example buttons or panels with text.

At the end of 2017, another AR startup Magic Leap presented its augmented reality glasses, which the company has been developing for several years. They will have a belt-mounted computing module that allows all the calculations on the device to be performed without the need to connect to a powerful computer. In addition, a distinctive feature of the glasses became lightfield displays capable of transmitting data about the depth of objects.

Grigory Kopiev

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