3D User Interfaces

General 3D User Interfaces

One challenge in immersive systems is 3D interaction, as illustrated by comparing the performance of users with a mouse on a desktop to interaction in modern Virtual or Augmented Reality (VR/AR) systems. Targeted at making 3D and VR systems easier to use, this work presents a list of guidelines to facilitate 3D manipulation, each of which is based on previous research or evaluative studies. Recent work identifies 3D input devices that perform well for such tasks and discusses methods to evaluate 3D interaction. See also W. Stuerzlinger's talk on Towards Better 3D User Interfaces for an overview.

3D Pointing

Common 2D input devices, such as the mouse, outperform most 3D input devices on frequently used tasks, such as pointing, in 3D environments. This seems counterintuitive at first. One aspect of the problem is that simultaneous control of three (or more) degrees of freedom is more challenging for humans. (Laser) Ray-based pointing offers a reasonable compromise, as it requires mostly only control of two degrees of freedom. Other aspects pertain to differences in 2D and 3D input technologies, including variations in latency, jitter, and the effect of co-location of input and output. The selection of hidden objects is also a notable challenge. We have performed a series of experiments that explore and document the effects of each factor.

Mid-air Pointing

Selecting objects in mid-air by "touching" them is an attractive option for interaction in Virtual and Augmented Reality, as it is very intuitive. Yet, there are several issues that affect performance, including deficiencies of current stereo display systems, fatigue, and the absence of a supporting surface to "touch". Our user studies investigate the effects of all these factors on human pointing performance.

3D Positioning and Docking

Moving objects into the right position and orientation in a 3D environment involves controlling 6 degrees of freedom. Our research investigates new methods to make positioning and posing objects more efficient, through sliding them on contact surfaces, or by using different input devices.

3D Navigation

Navigating in 3D virtual environments involves keeping oriented and efficiently traversing large distances, all without introducing motion sickness. Our research presents new solutions that reduce cue conflicts and also address the unique challenges of traversing multi-scale environments in an efficient manner.

3D Modeling & Sketching

This project explored new, easy-to-use ways to create and modify 3D content. Contributions including efficient techniques to draw content, methids to manipulate groups of objects, leveraging known object semantics for 3D manipulation, and explorations of sketching in 3D.