Summary Week 11 – Pop Through Button Devices for VE Navigation and Interaction

In their paper, Zeleznik et al. describe some of the novel interactions that they’ve made possible by the use of pop through buttons, that are tri-state, and thus permit an additional activation state as opposed to conventional binary-state buttons. The tri-state behavior corresponds to the application of no, low and high pressure on the buttons. Specifically, they describe the design of two interaction devices – the TriggerGun and the FingerSleeve, and describe three novel navigation and interaction techniques that they call ZoomBack, LaserGrab and SnapShot.

The authors create the pop-through buttons by affixing a conventional button over another, and having a large force differential/finger travel distance between the activation of the two buttons. The authors describe two input device prototypes based on this idea – the TriggerGun and the FingerSleeve. The TriggerGun has two pop-through buttons, one that is to be pressed by the index finger and has larger finger travel distances while one that is to be pressed using the thumb and has a high force differential. The FingerSleeve, as the name suggests is to be worn on the index finger and house two relative small, and closely located pop-through buttons.

Subsequently, the authors describe their novel interaction techniques. The ZoomBack provides a way of quickly navigating to a particular place (by a light press on the pop-through button) and a making a corresponding decision on whether to stay at the new place (by applying greater pressure on the button — effectively locking in on the decision to navigate) or to return back (by releasing the pop-through button). Another proposed  interaction technique is LaserGrab, that takes into account the amount of translation that the users hands describe when moving from an outstretched position to a place close to the body to determine distance to be moved in the VE from an initial point to an interest. More pertinently, LaserGrab also allows  for light and firm presses on the pop-through button to transition between radial and orbital translations.

Another technique described by the authors, SnapShot allows for users to create a camera-frame widget by a light-press, move it around in the virtual world and to take a snapshot of the view at any instant by a hard-press. Finally, the authors also describe their incorporation of the FingerSleeve into a real world application, the CavePainter. Here, the authors leverage the spatial distance of the dominant from the non-dominant hand to decide on the action that a user would like to perform, and leverage the tri-states to facilitate selection and locking interactions.

Week 11 summary

Pop Through Button Devices for VE Navigation and Interaction

Virtual environments need interaction with the user. For complex model, the traditional way to keep the number of button acceptable for the user is to divided them into separate modes that are called by users. This paper tries another approach, which consists of using pop-through button. Those button reacts to both light and pressure and then offer twice more options for the same area. This paper presents two devices. The trigger gun look likes a commercial flight-control joystick. It has two pop button and a 6DOF sensor. The second device is called fingerSleeve and can be equiped on the left or right index finger. This device has two pop-through buttons and also contains a 6DOF sensor.

To explore the viability of pop-through device, the paper first studies the most basic task, which is the navigation. Because traditional techniques do not use the full potential of pop-through devices, two news techniques have been developed. The first technique is called zoomback. The idea is to teleport the user at a new location and give him the choice to stay or go back to the previous location. Users defined the targeted location using a virtual laser. When the location is acquired, he pushed slightly the button. If he wants to stay, then, he pushed strongly the button. Otherwise, releasing the button bring him back to his previous location. The second technique is an extension of the previous one. The idea is often, an user do not want to be on an object but around. Then, when the surface has been selected, the user has now the choice of moving directly to the surface or reduce the distance between him and the object by half. An orbital mode can also be enabled (buy pushing strongly on the pop-through button). This mode enable the user to rotate around the selected target. One last technique presented uses stored image. Users are able to take picture and store them. At any moment, the user can select a picture and be translated to the corresponding location.