The University of Cambridge Researchers have developed a virtual reality app that allows users to control 3D modeling tools using hand gestures. This new technology, called ‘HotGestures’, allows users to build figures and shapes without the need to interact with a menu. This groundbreaking ability has never been possible before. The results were published in the academic journal, IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.
In the past, virtual reality (VR) has been mainly associated with gaming, but it’s promising to offer more. However, the downside is that users often experience visual fatigue and ergonomic issues. This new technology aims to make VR more practical and user-friendly. Traditional hot keys, such as ctrl-c to copy and ctrl-v to paste, are used in the app. However, instead of using traditional shortcuts, users can perform a gesture with their hand to open and control the tools they need in a 3D virtual environment.
The team carried out studies showing that HotGestures offer fast and effective shortcuts for tool selection and usage, ultimately making the gesture-based system faster than a menu-based one. The research also found that using gestures is distinctive, fast, and easy, and it complements traditional menu-based interaction.
To help developers incorporate the technology into their products, the researchers have made the source code and dataset publicly available. Ultimately, the goal is for HotGestures to become a standard way of interacting with VR. The research is supported in part by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).