The paper “Kine-Appendage: Enhancing Freehand VR Interaction through Transformations of Virtual Appendages“, authored by Yang Tian, Hualong Bai, Shengdong Zhao, Chi-Wing Fu, Chun Yu, Haozhao Qin, Qiong Wang, and Pheng-Ann Heng has been accepted with no further changes as a Regular Paper in an upcoming issue of the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics.
Kinesthetic feedback, the feeling of restriction or resistance when hands contact objects, is essential for natural freehand interaction in VR. However, inducing kinesthetic feedback using mechanical hardware can be cumbersome and hard to control in commodity VR systems. We propose the kine-appendage concept to compensate for the loss of kinesthetic feedback in virtual environments, i.e., a virtual appendage is added to the user’s avatar hand; when the appendage contacts a virtual object, it exhibits transformations (rotation and deformation); when it disengages from the contact, it recovers its original appearance. A proof-of-concept kine-appendage technique, BrittleStylus, was designed to enhance isomorphic typing. Our empirical evaluations demonstrated that (i) BrittleStylus significantly reduced the uncorrected error rate of naive isomorphic typing from 6.53% to 1.92% without compromising the typing speed; (ii) BrittleStylus could induce the sense of kinesthetic feedback, the degree of which was parity with that induced by pseudohaptic (+ visual cue) methods; and (iii) participants preferred BrittleStylus over pseudo-haptic (+ visual cue) methods because of not only good performance but also fluent hand movements.