3DTouch: A wearable 3D input device for 3D applications

Abstract: 3D applications appear in every corner of life in the current technology era. There is a need for an ubiquitous 3D input device that works with many different platforms, from head-mounted displays (HMDs) to mobile touch devices, 3DTVs, and even the Cave Automatic Virtual Environments. We present 3DTouch, a novel wearable 3D input device worn on the fingertip for 3D manipulation tasks. 3DTouch is designed to fill the missing gap of a 3D input device that is self-contained, mobile, and universally works across various 3D platforms. This paper presents a low-cost solution to designing and implementing such a device.

Our approach relies on a relative positioning technique using an optical laser sensor and a 9-DOF inertial measurement unit. The device employs touch input for the benefits of passive haptic feedback, and movement stability. On the other hand, with touch interaction, 3DTouch is conceptually less fatiguing to use over many hours than 3D spatial input devices. We propose a set of 3D interaction techniques including selection, translation, and rotation using 3DTouch. An evaluation also demonstrates the device’s tracking accuracy of 1.10 mm and 2.33 degrees for subtle touch interaction in 3D space. We envision that modular solutions like 3DTouch opens up a whole new design space for interaction techniques to further develop on. With 3DTouch, we attempt to bring 3D applications a step closer to users.

Download: a copy of the paper here.

Additional information:

  • Paper to appear at IEEE Virtual Reality 2015 (23% acceptance rate).
  • A Youtube video demonstrating the device interacting with 3D applications.
  • A blog post I wrote earlier when working on the device.

Press coverage:

, , , ,