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Leap Motion's new engine aims to make VR interactions more human

Leap Motion's new engine aims to make VR interactions more human

August 24, 2016 | By Chris Kerr

Motion controller manufacturer Leap Motion has released the first iteration of its 'Interaction Engine,' which promises to give virtual reality users a "more human experience."

The company says the engine acts as a bridging layer between Unity and real-world hand physics, letting players more believably interact with virtual objects.

In terms of application, integration is said to be "quick and easy."

"To make object interactions work in a way that satisfies human expectations, [the engine] implements an alternate set of physics rules that take over when your hands are embedded inside a virtual object," said the company in a blog post

"You can modify the properties of an object interaction, including desired position when grasped, moving the object to the desired position, determining what happens when tracking is momentarily lost, throwing velocity, and layer transitions to handle how collisions work."

Without the engine, Leap Motion says hands can feel slippy, with objects springing from the palms of players like bars of soap. 

When it's activated (as shown in the gifs on the blog) the experience becomes fundamentally different, and picking up, twisting, stacking, and tossing objects becomes more natural. 

The Interaction Engine beta can be downloaded right now through GitHub. You can learn how to use it by checking out Leap Motion's guidelines.

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