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Performance Envelopes of In-Air Direct and Smartwatch Indirect Control for Head-Mounted Augmented Reality

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Wolf, Dennis 
Dudley, JJ 
Kristensson, Per Ola  ORCID logo


The scarcity of established input methods for augmented reality (AR) head-mounted displays (HMD) motivates us to investigate the performance envelopes of two easily realisable solutions: indirect cursor control via a smartwatch and direct control by in-air touch. Indirect cursor control via a smartwatch has not been previously investigated for AR HMDs. We evaluate these two techniques in three fundamental user interface actions: target acquisition, goal crossing, and circular steering. We find that in-air is faster than smartwatch (p<0.001) for target acquisition and circular steering. We observe, however, that in-air selection can lead to discomfort after extended use and suggest that smartwatch control offers a complementary alternative.



Fitts’ law, steering law, goal crossing, in-air selection, smartwatch, indirect cursor, AR, augmented reality

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25th IEEE Conference on Virtual Reality and 3D User Interfaces, VR 2018 - Proceedings

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EPSRC (1198)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/R004471/1)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/N010558/1)
This work was supported by EPSRC (grant number EP/N010558/1) and the Trimble Fund. Part of this work was conducted within the Transregional Collaborative Research Centre SFB/TRR 62 Companion-Technology of Cognitive Technical Systems funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).