New Directions in 3D User Interfaces


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


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

Tao Ni


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