Thursday, February 7, 2013

Eye on the Blog: "Reaching into Second Life With Leap Motion"

Just after announcing it's purchase of Blocksworld and its release of dio, Linden Lab offered some news for those preferring to stick with Second Life. They had been working on a code for "Leap Motion," a controller that allows one to interact with one's computer using just hand gestures, for use in Second Life.

When our developers first saw the Leap Motion controller they couldn’t wait to get their hands on one. Thankfully, we were able to get a pre-production development kit and built demos to explore its capabilities in Second Life. The demos included tests of flight controls, object manipulation, and avatar gestures. 

 This work was strictly experimental, but it showed the power of Second Life as a platform for exploring gesture-based interactions with controllers like the Leap Motion, and we’re happy to be able to share the code with you as a starting point for your own explorations.

If you have a Leap Motion controller and would like to experiment with the Second Life Viewer, you can find the source code for these experiments at The indra/newview/llleapmotioncontroller.cpp file contains most new functionality. The Viewer is built to work in several different modes. These modes can be used to control the avatar while flying, send data into Second Life for scripts to intercept, detect hand motions that trigger avatar gestures, or control the camera and avatar movement. To switch between these modes use the "LeapMotionTestMode" value in the Debug Settings, accessible from the Advanced menu.

To give our experiments a shot you will need get the source mentioned above and contact to join their developer program and obtain the SDK. Currently only Windows Viewers are supported, but other platforms could be added by linking in the appropriate Leap Motion SDK.

There was a small thread on the official forums, where several residents expressed mixed opinions. A few liked it, others seemed to feel it was spending $70 for a buggy device. On the Second Life Universe forums, the posters seemed a little more interested about it. Inara Pey noted how due to a bug, one fired a gun sideways like an urban gangster. Hamlet Au thought it was too laggy to be of much use for building, but imagined some creative uses for it in adult areas with the device used for virtual spankings with just a flick of the wrist.

*Addition* Valkyrie Ice has a review of "Leap Motion"  on Aceler8or Magazine.



    I wrote about it 6 months ago. And I plan to get one soon.

    *evil grin*