Specimen Box: A tangible interaction technique for world-fixed virtual reality displays

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PubDate: April 2017

Teams: Duke University;

Writers: David J. Zielinski ; Derek Nankivil ; Regis Kopper

PDF: Specimen Box: A tangible interaction technique for world-fixed virtual reality displays

Abstract

Object selection and manipulation in world-fixed displays such as CAVE-type systems are typically achieved with tracked input devices, which lack the tangibility of real-world interactions. Conversely, due to the visual blockage of the real world, head-mounted displays allow the use of many types of real world objects that can convey realistic haptic feedback. To bridge this gap, we propose Specimen Box, an interaction technique that allows users to naturally hold a plausible physical object while manipulating virtual content inside it. This virtual content is rendered based on the tracked position of the box in relation to the user’s point of view. Specimen Box provides the weight and tactile feel of an actual object and does not occlude rendered objects in the scene. The end result is that the user sees the virtual content as if it exists inside the clear physical box. We hypothesize that the effect of holding a physical box, which is a valid part of the overall scenario, would improve user performance and experience. To verify this hypothesis, we conducted a user study which involved a cognitively loaded inspection task requiring extensive manipulation of the box. We compared Specimen Box to Grab-and-Twirl, a naturalistic bimanual manipulation technique that closely mimics the mechanics of our proposed technique. Results show that in our specific task, performance was significantly faster and rotation rate was significantly lower with Specimen Box. Further, performance of the control technique was positively affected by experience with Specimen Box.

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