Leap Motion unveils a new AR headset that can be manufactured for just $100 at scale

Leap Motion, a company known for its hand tracking sensors, today unveiled a new augmented reality platform. This project codenamed North Star is a full AR platform that will offer better AR experience than any other headset available in the market today.

Leap Motion’s AR headset features two ultra-bright, low-persistence 1600×1440 displays pushing 120 frames per second with a large visual field over 100 degrees in diameter. It also comes with Leap Motion’s world-class 180° hand tracking sensor for great interactive experience. The main highlight of this headset is its price. Leap Motion claims that North Star headset can be manufactured for just under $100 at scale.

Even though Project North Star is an experimental platform right now, Leap Motion expects that the design itself will spawn further endeavors as they are open sourcing the headset design next week. Leap Motion has not yet figured out the following regarding this headset:

  1. Inward-facing embedded cameras for automatic and precise alignment of the augmented image with the user’s eyes as well as eye and face tracking.
  2. Head mounted ambient light sensors for 360 degree lighting estimation.
  3. Directional speakers near the ears for discrete, localized audio feedback
  4. Electrochromatic coatings on the reflectors for electrically controllable variable transparency
  5. Micro-actuators that move the displays by fractions of a millimeter to allow for variable and dynamic depth of field based on eye convergence

Despite the limitations and the issues it may face in the future, David Holz, co-founder and CTO at Leap Motion is quite optimistic about this headset. He mentioned the following in his blog post.

However, on the whole, what you see here is an augmented reality system with two 120 fps, 1600×1440 displays with a field of view covering over a hundred degrees combined, coupled with hand tracking running at 150 fps over a 180°x 180° field of view. Putting this headset on, the resolution, latency, and field of view limitations of today’s systems melt away and you’re suddenly confronted with the question that lies at the heart of this endeavour: What shall we build?

Source: Leap Motion

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