Comparing Different Grasping Visualizations for Object Manipulation in VR using Controllers

IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph. 2023 Feb 22;PP. doi: 10.1109/TVCG.2023.3247039. Online ahead of print.


Virtual grasping is one of the most common and important interactions performed in a Virtual Environment (VE). Even though there has been substantial research using hand tracking methods exploring different ways of visualizing grasping, there are only a few studies that focus on handheld controllers. This gap in research is particularly crucial, since controllers remain the most used input modality in commercial Virtual Reality (VR). Extending existing research, we designed an experiment comparing three different grasping visualizations when users are interacting with virtual objects in immersive VR using controllers. We examine the following visualizations: the Auto-Pose (AP), where the hand is automatically adjusted to the object upon grasping; the Simple-Pose (SP), where the hand closes fully when selecting the object; and the Disappearing-Hand (DH), where the hand becomes invisible after selecting an object, and turns visible again after positioning it on the target. We recruited 38 participants in order to measure if and how their performance, sense of embodiment, and preference are affected. Our results show that while in terms of performance there is almost no significant difference in any of the visualizations, the perceived sense of embodiment is stronger with the AP, and is generally preferred by the users. Thus, this study incentivizes the inclusion of similar visualizations in relevant future research and VR experiences.