Virtual Reality

, Volume 15, Issue 2–3, pp 133–146 | Cite as

Two-handed tangible interaction techniques for composing augmented blocks

  • Hyeongmook Lee
  • Mark Billinghurst
  • Woontack Woo
SI: Augmented Reality


Modeling tools typically have their own interaction methods for combining virtual objects. For realistic composition in 3D space, many researchers from the fields of virtual and augmented reality have been trying to develop intuitive interactive techniques using novel interfaces. However, many modeling applications require a long learning time for novice users because of unmanageable interfaces. In this paper, we propose two-handed tangible augmented reality interaction techniques that provide an easy-to-learn and natural combination method using simple augmented blocks. We have designed a novel interface called the cubical user interface, which has two tangible cubes that are tracked by marker tracking. Using the interface, we suggest two types of interactions based on familiar metaphors from real object assembly. The first, the screw-driving method, recognizes the user’s rotation gestures and allows them to screw virtual objects together. The second, the block-assembly method, adds objects based on their direction and position relative to predefined structures. We evaluate the proposed methods in detail with a user experiment that compares the different methods.


Two-handed interaction Tangible interaction Augmented reality 3D model assembly Multi-modal feedback 


  1. Anderson TW, Darling DA (1952) Asymptotic theory of certain ‘goodness of fit’ criteria based on stochastic processes. Ann Math Stat 23:193–212MathSciNetzbMATHCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Butterworth J, Davidson A, Hench S, Olano M (1992) 3DM: a three dimensional modeler using a head mounted display. In: International symposium on interactive 3D graphics 1992, pp 135–138Google Scholar
  3. Camarata K, Do EY, Johnson BR, Gross MD (2002) Navigational blocks: navigating information space with tangible media. In: Proceeding of the 7th international conference on intelligent user interface, 2002, pp 31–38Google Scholar
  4. Connacher H, Jayaram S, Lyons K (1995) Virtual assembly design environment. In: Proceedings of 1995 computers in engineering conference, Boston, MAGoogle Scholar
  5. Couture N, Riviere G, Legardeur J (2008) Tangible user interface integration in engineering. Int J Interact Des Manuf 2(3):175–182CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. De Sa AG, Zachmann G (1999) Virtual reality as a tool for verification of assembly and maintenance processes. Comput Graphics 23:389–403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Depaulis F, Couture N, Legardeur J, Garreau L (2005) A reusable methodology based on filters in order to define relevant tangible parts for a TUI. In: Proceedings of electronic imaging science and technology, stereoscopic displays and virtual reality systems XII electronic imaging 2005, vol 5664, pp 530–539Google Scholar
  8. Fiala P, Adamo-Villani N (2005) ARpm: an augmented reality interface for polygonal model-ing. In: Proceeding of the 4th international symposium on augmented reality, 2005, pp 196–197Google Scholar
  9. Gaulin S (1992) Evolution of sex differences in spatial ability. Yearb Phys Anthropol 35:125–151CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Gribnau MW, Hennessey JM (1998) Comparing single-and two-handed 3D input for a 3D object assembly task. In: Conference on human factors in computing systems, 1998Google Scholar
  11. Guiard Y (1987) Symmetric division of labor in human skilled bimanual action: the kinematic chain as a model. J Motor Behav 19(4):486–517Google Scholar
  12. Irawati S, Green S, Billinghurst M, Duenser A (2006) An evaluation of an augmented reality multimodal interface using speech and paddle Gestures. Lecture notes in computer science Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2006, vol 4282, pp 272–283Google Scholar
  13. Ishii H, Ullmer B (1997) Tangible bits: towards seamless interfaces between people, bits and atoms. In: Proceedings of the ACM conference on human factors in computing systems, 1997, pp 234–241Google Scholar
  14. Jayaram S, Connacher H, Lyons K (1997) Virtual assembly using virtual reality techniques. Computer-Aided Design, 1997, vol 29(8)Google Scholar
  15. Kato H, Billinghurst M, Poupyrev I (2001) Tangible augmented reality. In: SIGGRAPH 2001 Course, Notes 21, 2001Google Scholar
  16. Kato H, Tachibana K, Tanabe M, Nakajima T (2003) A city-planning system based on augmented reality with a tangible interface. In: Proceedings of the 2nd international symposium on mixed and augmented reality, 2003, pp 340–341Google Scholar
  17. Kiyokawa K, Takemura H, Katayama Y, Iwasa H, Yokoya N (1996) VLEGO: a simple two-handed modeling environment based on toy blocks. ACM VRST, 1996, pp 27–34Google Scholar
  18. LDD Lego Digital Designer,
  19. Lee GA, Kim GJ (2009) Immersive authoring of tangible augmented reality content: a user study. J Visual Lang Comput 20(2):61–79CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lersithichai S, Seegmiller M (2002) CUBIK: a bi-directional tangible modeling interface. In: Conference on human factors in computing systems, 2002, pp 756–757Google Scholar
  21. Olkin I, Ghurye SG, Hoeffding W, Madow WG, Mann HB (1960) Robust tests for equality of variances. In: Contributions to probability and statistics, Chap. 25, Stanford University Press, Stanford, CAGoogle Scholar
  22. Park JY, Lee JW (2004) Tangible augmented reality modeling. Lecture Note in Computer Science Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2004, pp 254–259Google Scholar
  23. Park Y, Lepetit V, Woo W (2008) Multiple 3D object tracking for augmented reality. In: Proceedings of the 7th international symposium on mixed and augmented reality, 2008 (ISMAR 2008), pp 117–120Google Scholar
  24. Poupyrev I, Tan DS, Billinghurst M, Kato H, Regenbrecht H, Tetsutani N (2002) Developing a generic augmented-reality interface. IEEE Comput 35(3):44–50Google Scholar
  25. Reuter P, Rivière G, Couture N, Sorraing N, Espinasse L, Vergnieux R (2007) ArcheoTUI—a tangible user interface for the virtual reassembly of fractured archeological objects. In: VAST2007: Proceedings of the 8th EuroGraphics international symposium on virtual reality, archaeology and cultural heritage, 2007, pp 15–22Google Scholar
  26. Wang X, Kotranza A, Quarles J, Lok B, Allen D (2005) A pipeline for rapidly incorporating real objects into a mixed environment. In: Proceedings of the 4th international symposium on mixed and augmented reality, 2008 (ISMAR 2008), pp 170–173Google Scholar
  27. Watanabe R, Itoh Y, Asai M, Kitamura Y, Kishino F, Kikuchi H (2004) The soul of Active Cube: implementing a flexible, multimodal, three-dimensional spatial tangible interface. In: Proceedings of the international conference on advances in computer entertainment technology, 2004, pp 173–180Google Scholar
  28. Yonemoto S, Yotsumoto T, Taniguchi R (2007) Virtual object manipulation using physical blocks. In: Proceedings of the 11th international conference information visualization, 2007, pp 781–785Google Scholar
  29. Zhou ZY, Cheok AD, Tedjokusumo H, Omer GS (2008) wIzQubesTM–A novel tangible interface for interactive storytelling in mixed reality. Int J Virtual Real 7(4):9–15Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hyeongmook Lee
    • 1
  • Mark Billinghurst
    • 2
  • Woontack Woo
    • 1
  1. 1.GIST U-VR LabGwangjuSouth Korea
  2. 2.The HIT Lab NZUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations