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Comparing Voodoo Dolls and HOMER: Exploring the Importance of Feedback in Virtual Environments

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posted on 01.04.2002 by Jeffrey S Pierce, Randy Pausch
When creating techniques for manipulating objects at a distance in immersive virtual environments, researchers have primarily focused on increasing selection range, placement range, and placement accuracy. This focus has led researchers to create and formally study a series of “arm extension” techniques, which dynamically scale the user’s arm to allow him to manipulate distant objects. Researchers have also developed representation-based techniques, which allow users to manipulate a distant object by manipulating a copy of it in a handheld representation. However, researchers have not yet formally established the relative value of these techniques. In this paper we present a formal study comparing Voodoo Dolls, a best-practice representation based technique, with HOMER, a best-practice arm extension technique. We found that the Voodoo Dolls technique, which provides better feedback by allowing users to view a manipulated object both up close and at a distance, allowed users to both position and orient objects more accurately. Our results suggest that researchers should focus on improving feedback for 3D manipulation techniques.


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