Leap Motion Introduces Open-Source AR Reference Headset

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Oct 4, 2017
They''ll probably try to get away with selling it for quite a bit more than $200 dollars. If it's under $200, I think a lot of people would be interested in getting into AR.


Not exactly the best looking AR headset... and this matters more for AR than VR.

The other thing that's missing is any sort of processing. So, this is something you'd either have to use at a desk or with a backpack. $200 isn't a bad price for that, but consider that Lenovo can deliver a full, standalone 6-DoF VR HMD for $400.


Lenovo is at least 90% towards a Hololens-beating AR solution, here.

It's worth considering the field of view of other augmented reality headsets. Hololens only has around a 17 x 30 degree FOV, comparable to looking at a 15 inch screen from about 2 feet (60 cm) away, and that costs thousands of dollars. Of course, you can view your surroundings outside of that area as well, it's just that the augmented imagery won't appear outside that box, getting cut off at the edges. The current Hololens would be unusable for anything intended to fill one's surroundings with immersive augmented content, but the FOV of this device seems far more useable for that purpose. And it's not like these headsets are primarily intended for things like immersive 3D games. They're more to add objects and overlays into one's surroundings, and for that, the FOV described here would likely be pretty good.

I kind of think the appearance of this device doesn't matter so much, since it's likely intended more for home and office use. A Hololens isn't exactly something that fashion-conscious people would likely consider wearing in public either. It also looks like the headset in the top image is a prototype with exposed circuitry, rather than a finished product.

And while it might be a tethered design, this is intended as an open-source reference, and onboard computing could undoubtedly be added. Or wireless transmission from another device, for that matter. I don't think their intention is really for people to be wearing this walking down the sidewalk though. It may be a bit bulky, but that's likely necessary with the technology available today at any semi-reasonable prices, at least when providing a field of view that covers any significant area. Leap Motion develops hand-tracking hardware, and this design is really just an example showing how that hardware can be used, in hopes of selling their components to manufacturers.

And I wouldn't say that the Mirage Solo is nearly a "Hololens-beating AR solution", since they are rather different things. I don't think they could convert that design into something intended for proper AR with a see-through view of one's actual surroundings without almost completely redesigning the headset. It seems to be more along the lines of a mobile VR HMD, only with the smartphone hardware built into the headset itself, and some Windows "mixed reality" style tracking. Most of the Windows mixed reality headsets are only around $250 now, and hardware-wise the Mirage appears to be mainly just adding a smartphone circuit board and battery, while cutting out the capable hand-tracking controllers in favor of a single cheap 3DOF Daydream remote. If a Leap Motion headset could potentially be sold for $200, than it stands to reason that a similar level of onboard computing could be added to the design for around $400.

I don't think that consumer AR is quite ready for prime time though. A lot of work would need to be done on both the hardware and software side of things to make people want to wear an AR headset much of the day.
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