Orion, the latest hand-tracking software for virtual reality

18th February 2016
Enaie Azambuja

Leap Motion announced Orion, an entirely new software and hardware product. Orion makes it possible for VR developers and headset makers to tap into the full power of natural hand and finger input for virtual and augmented reality. Leap Motion is making a beta of the Orion software along with new demo experiences and development tools. The company plans to offer Orion software alongside its new embeddable hardware for VR & AR headset manufacturers. 

Orion also works with current Leap Motion hardware like the Leap Motion Controller, for those developers who want to immediately get started with the new capabilities Orion brings to virtual and mixed reality spaces.

"The holy grail of virtual reality is a sense of total presence and immersion. With Orion, we're enabling developers and OEMs to create that type of experience. People can use their own hands and fingers to interact with digital content in VR with the same ease and nuance they use in the real world," said Michael Buckwald, Leap Motion Co-founder and CEO.

David Holz, Leap Motion Co-founder and CTO added, "Orion software represents a paradigm shift in how we do hand tracking. It's built from the ground up specifically for VR. It's radically smoother, faster, more reliable, and far more capable than even the best of what's existed before."

"Because this shift is so stark, we're making Orion software available on our peripheral starting today so developers can begin exploring a totally new generation of experiences in virtual reality."

Orion Beta Software Features

  • Radically Improved Hand and Finger Tracking
    • Orion starts tracking faster, and keeps tracking farther, with lower latency, and in situations where no previous software could keep up.
    • Unprecedented sensitivity allows Orion to maintain reliable hand tracking even in high angle, high occlusion scenarios.
    • Incredible progress has also been made in separating the hand out from cluttered backgrounds, allowing you to bring your hand close to or even in contact with other surfaces. This advance has also improved performance in all lighting conditions, making it extremely difficult to find an environment where you won't have high precision hand tracking.

Transforming How People Interact with Digital Objects in VR

The improved tracking allows developers to recreate nuanced physical interactions with digital objects in a way never before possible.

Leap Motion's flagship demo "Blocks" shows this capability by using an alpha release of the Leap Motion interaction engine, which acts as a contextual bridge between the hand tracking, the physics engine and the game engine.

Optimised for Virtual Reality

Orion is an entirely new Leap Motion tracking system built from the ground up for VR/AR.

Developers don't have to wait to try Orion firsthand; starting today, they can access Orion via a free beta download on leapmotion.com/developers.

Works with Leap Motion Controller, Orion OEM Hardware to Come

Orion starts with software, the true magic of Leap Motion technology. Anyone can use Orion beginning today with the Leap Motion Controller, available at Leap Motion's webpage. Leap Motion is also working directly with OEMs to embed Orion hardware into VR headsets.

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