Experimental Analysis of Barehand Mid-air Mode-Switching Techniques in Virtual Reality

Honourable Mention at CHI 2019

By : Hemant Bhaskar Surale, Fabrice Matulic, Daniel Vogel


We present an empirical comparison of eleven bare hand, mid-air mode-switching techniques suitable for virtual reality in two experiments. The first evaluates seven techniques spanning dominant and non-dominant hand actions. Techniques represent common classes of actions selected by a methodical examination of 56 examples of prior art. The standard “subtraction method” protocol is adapted for 3D interfaces, with two baseline selection methods, bare hand pinch and device controller button. A second experiment with four techniques explores more subtle dominant-hand techniques and the effect of using a dominant hand device for selection. Results provide guidance to practitioners when choosing bare hand, mid-air mode-switching techniques, and for researchers when designing new mode-switching methods in VR.

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