02jvr_bowman - 3 The International Journal of Virtual...

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The International Journal of Virtual Reality, 2006, 5(2):3-14 3 New Directions in 3D User Interfaces Doug A. Bowman, Jian Chen, Chadwick A. Wingrave, John Lucas, Andrew Ray, Nicholas F. Polys, Qing Li, Yonca Haciahmetoglu, Ji-Sun Kim, Seonho Kim, Robert Boehringer, and Tao Ni Abstract Three-dimensional user interfaces (3D UIs) support user tasks in many non-traditional interactive systems such as virtual environments and augmented reality. Although 3D UI researchers have been successful in identifying basic user tasks and interaction metaphors, evaluating the usability of 3D interaction techniques, and improving the usability of many applications, 3D UI research now stands at a crossroads. Very few fundamentally new techniques and metaphors for 3D interaction have been discovered in recent years, yet the usability of 3D UIs in many real-world applications is still not at a desirable level. What directions should 3D UI researchers next explore to improve this situation? In this paper, we make some observations about the history of 3D UIs and the current state-of-the-art. Using this evidence, in addition to our own experience, we argue that 3D UI researchers should approach this problem using some new research approaches, which cluster around the concepts of specificity , flavors , implementation , and emerging technologies . We illustrate and discuss some of these new directions using case studies of research projects undertaken in our group. These explorations indicate the promise of these directions for further increasing our understanding of 3D interaction and 3D UI design, and for ensuring the usability of 3D UIs in future applications. Index Terms —3D user interfaces, 3D interaction, user interface design, usability I. INTRODUCTION With the rise of virtual environments, augmented reality, large- screen display systems, and three-dimensional (3D) applica -tions of all sorts on the desktop, a new trend in human -computer interaction (HCI) research began to emerge. Although principles gleaned from years of experience in designing user interfaces (UIs) for desktop computers still applied, they weren’t sufficient to address the unique needs of these systems where interaction took place in a 3D spatial context, with multiple degrees-of-freedom. Researchers and application developers gradually came to realize that user interfaces in these 3D arenas had some fundamental differences with traditional desktop UIs, and that new research was needed to examine interaction techniques and UI metaphors for 3D applications. This area of research gradually came to be known as 3D User Interfaces ( 3D UIs ), or 3D Interaction . Manuscript Received on August 25, 2006. This material is partially based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. NSF-IIS-0237412.
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02jvr_bowman - 3 The International Journal of Virtual...

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