Leap Motion’s New North Star Demo Brings Table Tennis To AR

by Jamie Feltham • June 20th, 2018

Leap Motion has found a new use for its open source AR headset, North Star; table tennis.

The hand-tracking specialist today revealed a new demo for its headset, which was announced last April. Whereas we’ve seen North Star handle advanced AR UI, table tennis showcases some other features of the headset. For starters, it allows the player to jump into a virtual game of the sport using a real table and a specialized paddle; the headset creates both the ball and an AI opponent for you to challenge.

Using a hand gesture the player summons a virtual ball and then serves it just like they would a real one. The opponent, meanwhile, is designed to make only humanly possible returns, giving you a real game of table tennis without anyone there to practice with. Check it out in the video below.

But what may first appear as a simple game has deeper implications about the future of AR training and beyond.

“Eventually, as AR systems become more advanced and lifelike, we will be able to practice against “impossibly difficult” artificial opponents and use that intuition in the real world like never before,” Leap Motion’s Johnathon Selstad said in a blog post. “Current and near-future professions may be aided by advanced AR training systems that allow us to casually achieve levels of skill that previously required months of determined practice.”

For now these demo is purely experimental, just like North Star itself.

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