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Controller-Free Hand Tracking for Grab-and-Place Tasks in Immersive Virtual Reality: Design Elements and Their Empirical Study

: Masurovsky, A.; Chojecki, P.; Runde, D.; Lafci, M.; Przewozny, D.; Gaebler, M.

Volltext ()

Multimodal technologies and interaction 4 (2020), Nr.4, Art. 91, 18 S.
ISSN: 2414-4088
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer HHI ()

Hand tracking enables controller-free interaction with virtual environments, which can, compared to traditional handheld controllers, make virtual reality (VR) experiences more natural and immersive. As naturalness hinges on both technological and user-based features, fine-tuning the former while assessing the latter can be used to increase usability. For a grab-and-place use case in immersive VR, we compared a prototype of a camera-based hand tracking interface (Leap Motion) with customized design elements to the standard Leap Motion application programming interface (API) and a traditional controller solution (Oculus Touch). Usability was tested in 32 young healthy participants, whose performance was analyzed in terms of accuracy, speed and errors as well as subjective experience. We found higher performance and overall usability as well as overall preference for the handheld controller compared to both controller-free solutions. While most measures did not differ between the two controller-free solutions, the modifications made to the Leap API to form our prototype led to a significant decrease in accidental drops. Our results do not support the assumption of higher naturalness for hand tracking but suggest design elements to improve the robustness of controller-free object interaction in a grab-and-place scenario.