Brown Computer Graphics Group Brown Computer Graphics Group

Virtual Reality User Interfaces

One of the major research goals of the Brown University Graphics Group is the development of innovative user interfaces for virtual environment applications. Our primary focus is on interaction in surround screen virtual environments.

In conjunction with the Technology Center for Advanced Scientific Computing and Visualization, we have developed techniques for performing hands-free multi-scale navigation through VEs.

"Hands-Free Multi-Scale Navigation in Virtual Environments" , Joseph LaViola, Daniel Acevedo Feliz, Daniel Keefe and Robert Zeleznick. In proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH I3D 2001 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics. North Carolina, March 2001.

A user examining the Step WIM

The particular interactions that we developed include a leaning technique for moving small and medium distances, a foot-gesture controlled Step WIM that acts as a floor map for moving larger distances, and a viewing technique that enables a user to view a full 360 degrees in only a three-walled semi-immersive environment by subtly amplifying the mapping between their torso rotation and the virtual world.

The leaning technique allows users to move
in the virtual world using just body movement

Scaling the Step WIM using foot activated commands

In addition, to developing interaction techniques, we also have developed a novel class of virtual reality input devices that combine pop through buttons with 6 DOF trackers.

"Pop Through Button Devices for VE Navigation and Interaction" , Robert Zeleznick, Joseph LaViola, Daniel Acevedo Feliz, and Daniel Keefe. To appear in proceedings of IEEE  Virtual Reality 2002. Orlando, Florida, March 2002.

The FingerSleeve mounts 2 pop-through buttons and 6 DOF tracker

The Trigger Gun has 2 pop through buttons,
for index finger and thumb activation

Compared to similar devices that use conventional buttons, pop through devices double the number of potential discrete interaction modes, since each button has two activation states corresponding to light and firm pressure. Specifically, we developed  two novel input devices: the FingerSleeve (above, left) was designed to be minimally obtrusive physically, whereas the TriggerGun was designed to be physically similar to, yet more functional than a conventional hand-held trigger device.

A user in the CavePainting environment utilizing the FingerSleeve


Bob Zeleznik
Andrew Forsberg
Joe LaViola
Daniel Keefe
Daniel Acevedo
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