Leap Motion Made It Easier to Build Your Own Project North Star Headset

Leap Motion released an update to the Project North Star CAD files that includes a slot for the Leap Motion developer kit hardware.

The company recently released open-source CAD files that would enable you to build your own Project North Star AR headset with 3D printed parts. The first iteration of the design featured space for the company’s latest hand-tracking cameras, but it didn’t support the Leap Motion developer kit many people already have at home. That developer kit features a narrower 135-degree field of view compared to the new camera’s 180-degree FOV, but the older camera works fine, and it supports Leap Motion’s V4 Orion hand tracking software.

The new bracket is a “drop-in replacement” for the original design. In addition to the slot for the Leap Motion sensor, it also includes structural improvements. Leap Motion said the new bracket is “thicker in certain areas” to make it stronger, and it also includes a cover for the display driver board, which the old design lacked.

Leap Motion also released files for an alternative head strap mechanism. The company's original internal design featured 3M headgear, but it switched to Miller headgear because it’s stiffer and helped to stabilize the optics. However, the 3M headgear is more comfortable and convenient, so Leap Motion’s design team added a cheek alignment mechanism to reduce image bounce caused by the flexible headgear. Now you can choose between the 3M and Miller options.

Leap Motion also released CAD files for torsion spring hinges for the Project North Star headset. The new hinges would improve the balance of the headset and free your nose from holding the bulk of the weight. The torsion spring hinges would also enable you to flip the visor up with ease, and it the springs would hold the visor in the upright position. 

Leap Motion said that the recent updates wouldn’t be the last. The company is actively working to improve Project North Star, and it’s gathering feedback to help steer the design direction for future updates. The company said it would share more progress updates in the coming weeks.

 Kevin Carbotte is a contributing writer for Tom's Hardware who primarily covers VR and AR hardware. He has been writing for us for more than four years.