David M. Krum, Thai Phan, Lauren Cairco Dukes, Peter Wang, Mark Bolas
With the current widespread interest in head mounted displays, we perceived a need for devices that support expressive and adaptive interaction in a low-cost, eyes-free manner. Leveraging rapid prototyping techniques for fabrication, we have designed and manufactured a variety of panels that can be overlaid on multi-touch tablets and smartphones. The panels are coupled with an app running on the multi-touch device that exchanges commands and state information over a wireless network with the virtual reality application. Sculpted features of the panels provide tactile disambiguation of control widgets and an onscreen heads-up display provides interaction state information. A variety of interaction mappings can be provided through software to support several classes of interaction techniques in virtual environments. We foresee additional uses for applications where eyes-free use and adaptable interaction interfaces can be beneficial.