2015 is most certainly the year of VR. While this certainly isn't the year that VR headsets will launch for the first time by any means, it is the year that plenty of commercially available VR headsets will be released. The short list includes the final version of the Oculus Rift, the latest version of Samsung's Gear VR, the HTC Vive and of course the OSVR to name a few. OSVR is the subject of interest today and for those that aren't aware OSVR stands for Open Source Virtual Reality and has been designed from the ground up to bring the community and key members of the gaming community under one roof.
The entire platform is open source including the hardware, software plugins and software APIs, and the development kit is modeled after the same design structure as Google's Project Ara Module Development Kit. This gives OSVR a unique advantage in the world of closed source systems that require strict licensing to develop for, and brings new hardware partners into the mix without ever having to meet at the negotiation table much like Android does for smaller OEMs. Like Android there's a company behind the kit itself, Razer, who has been a key player in many accessories and other products featuring open source development. Now one of the first hardware modules to be presented using this kit is from none other than Leap Motion, a leader in 3D gesture controls from things like Fleksy Keyboard to HP laptops.
Leap Motion's technology allows the OSVR to recognize a users hands and accurately model them in the game using skeletal models to accurately move according to what you're doing in the real world. Designed according to the Module Development Kit and available as a separately purchased unit the Leap Motion module will be an attachable faceplate that goes on the OSVR itself. This can be purchased for the OSVR Hacker Dev Kit this June or will be available in a bundle when the final commercial unit releases likely near the end of this year. Whether or not this will be enough to differentiate the OSVR from the HTC Vive, which has Valve's backing and features a similar hand tracking tech, will remain to be seen. Check out the video below to see the Leap Motion module in action.