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An asymmetric 2D Pointer / 3D Ray for 3D Interaction within Collaborative Virtual Environments

Thierry Duval 1 Cédric Fleury 1 
1 BUNRAKU - Perception, decision and action of real and virtual humans in virtual environments and impact on real environments
IRISA - Institut de Recherche en Informatique et Systèmes Aléatoires, ENS Cachan - École normale supérieure - Cachan, Inria Rennes – Bretagne Atlantique
Abstract : In this paper we present a new metaphor for interaction within Collaborative Virtual Environments (CVE). This metaphor is dedicated to non-immersive or semi-immersive 3D interactions, for which users cannot afford to buy expensive devices neither for 3D visualization of their virtual environment nor for interaction. With these low-cost restrictions, we think that it is more effective to use basic 2D metaphors rather than to try to adapt 3D virtual metaphors which would be more difficult to use because of the poor immersion level offered by such systems. The problem that will arise within a CVE is that it is difficult to make a user aware of the 2D metaphors used by another user, because they are not associated with a 3D virtual object of the shared universe. So our idea is to provide to a user a 3D virtual ray (using ray-casting for object selection) that would act like a 2D pointer on the screen, allowing the user to only control the 2D position of the closest ray end, and calculating the orientation of the ray so that its projection on the screen would always be a point. This way, since the user is controlling a 3D virtual ray, the other users can be made aware of his activity. To test the efficiency of this 2D Pointer / 3D Ray, we have made some experiments making users compare different devices to realize some simple selection and manipulation tasks. The results show that this kind of 2D solution is efficient and allows 3D interaction within Virtual Environments by people who cannot afford expensive immersive hardware. This new metaphor allows more users to collaborate within CVE.
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 7:00:04 AM
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Thierry Duval, Cédric Fleury. An asymmetric 2D Pointer / 3D Ray for 3D Interaction within Collaborative Virtual Environments. Web3D 2009, Jun 2009, Darmstadt, Germany. pp.33-41, ⟨10.1145/1559764.1559769⟩. ⟨inria-00433861⟩



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