Leap Motion: Planetarium

2015 - Reaching our and touching the stars


Foundational Motion Control UI

The Planetarium started as a weekend side project of mine. I’m an amateur astronomer, and there’s a lot of limits to what you can see through inexpensive, ground-based telescopes. I got it in my head that there were some pretty cool things I could visualize and learn if I could look at stars through a VR headset. The most interesting of which was to visualize the actual distance of stars from Earth.

When you look up at the night sky, the stars all look to be painted on the sky, as if they’re all about the same distance away. In reality, some stars you can see on a clear night are nearby (astronomically speaking), while others are thousands of light-years away. Our “little” galaxy, the Milky Way, is about 100,000 light-years side to side.

My Role

Interaction Design, Engineering

My team at Leap Motion and I built the VR Planetarium as a project within which to incubate our nascent UI framework, the Leap Motion VR Widgets. We debuted the project at CES 2015.