We are investigating the user interface aspects of the Workbench. Our current
efforts include developing a set of widgets that allow intuitive and easy
interactions with objects on the tabletop, and experiments with one- and
two-handed input techniques. Our goal is to devise natural ways of
interacting with and manipulating objects on the workbench.
Haptic feedback. Force-feedback is an important aspect of virtual
reality systems, and we are currently trying to integrate force and/or tactile
feedback into our system. For example, using something like the
which provides a normal force at the fingertip, one could feel the roughness
of a particular building material. It would also be possible to push parts
around in the kit-of-parts environment and feel their mass. The attraction or
resistance of two magnetic alignment constraints could be felt by pulling or
pushing the user's finger through the PHANToM.
Hardware issues. There are several hardware issues which we are
investigating. These include the evaluation of other tracking technologies,
reducing rendering and tracking latency, and the investigation of other
materials for the mirror and diffusion surfaces.
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