Is the Pen Mightier than the Controller? A Comparison of Input Devices for Selection in Virtual and Augmented Reality Inproceedings

Duc-Minh Pham, Wolfgang Stuerzlinger


Controllers are currently the typical input device for commercial Virtual Reality (VR) systems. Yet, such controllers are not as efficient as other devices, including the mouse. This motivates us to investigate devices that substantially exceed the controller's performance, for both VR and Augmented Reality (AR) systems. We performed a user study to compare several input devices, including a mouse, controller, and a 3D pen-like device on a VR and AR pointing task. Our results show that the 3D pen significantly outperforms modern VR controllers in all evaluated measures and that it is comparable to the mouse. Participants also liked the 3D pen more than the controller. Finally, we show how 3D pen devices could be integrated into today's VR and AR systems.

Date of publication: Nov - 2019
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