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Extended Reality Resource Guide

What is Leap Motion?

Leap Motion is a small device that tracks the movement of your hands and fingers in real time. It can be used in conjunction with virtual and augmented reality to allow you to grab things without the use of a controller such as the ones that come with the Vive and Oculus. It creates a more immersive experience as you can just use your hands as you usually would to interact with objects. You can also link certain hand gestures to different actions in the virtual world.

The Leap Motion can be used by itself with experiences on the desktop and also attached to VR headsets such as the Oculus and Vive to allow you to create VR applications where it tracks your hand motions. The developer SDK is integrated with Unity and Unreal engines allowing people to more easily make applications using the capabilities of the Leap Motion.

Set up Leap Motion Controller

1) Go to the Leap Motion setup page

2) Choose whether you are setting the Leap Motion up for your computer or for a VR headset

3) If using the VR headset, follow the steps on screen to attach your kit, set up controller, and enable external apps to begin exploring

3) Download the developer SDK

4) To begin developing, go to the documentation and choose your platform


Unity Core Assets

  • Basic framework built on native VR integration
  • Includes examples that can be used as guides on how to begin your own projects​

Interaction Engine

  • Handles interactions between objects and interfaces
  • Easy to implement grab/throw mechanics and detect hand gestures
  • Works with Oculus and Vive controllers

Hands Module

For more information, read in Leap Motion Unity Developer Community.


Only Windows development supported


VR development considerations

World Design and Storytelling

World space

  • Does being in the world feel comfortable and natural?

User experience

  • What is the user supposed to be doing?
  • How is the user supposed to know what to do?

Objects in world

  • Do the objects have a clear and evident purpose?
  • Do objects interact?


  • Always test everything in headset to ensure it looks and feels how you intend in VR.

Interactive Design

  • Objects and elements of the UI should imply how user can interact with them.
  • Use tutorial prompts to direct users.

Orion Tracking

  • Sensor are always on and detecting movement.
  • Get dynamic feedback.
  • Keep hands in tracking range.
  • Fingers are not always visible.

User Safety and Comfort

  • Test to ensure actions and environment are comfortable. 
  • Don’t move user and objects around as this can cause issues.
  • Don't require user to continually look up/down/in many directions.

Object Interactions

  • Objects should be react when user interacts with them in some way.
  • Design grabbable objects with physical characteristics that guide the user in how to use it.

User Interface Design

  • Make sure clear uses for everything.
  • Ensure you have all information you need to interact with environment for purposes of program.

More developer information