Browse Prior Art Database

Virtual Laser for 3D Environments

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000110317D
Original Publication Date: 1992-Nov-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-25
Document File: 3 page(s) / 155K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Appino, PA: AUTHOR [+5]

Abstract

This article discloses a virtual laser for the manipulation of objects in 3D environments. A user selects and acts on objects anywhere in a 3D environment by controlling the virtual laser with his/her hand.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 51% of the total text.

Virtual Laser for 3D Environments

       This article discloses a virtual laser for the
manipulation of objects in 3D environments.  A user selects and acts
on objects anywhere in a 3D environment by controlling the virtual
laser with his/her hand.

      The virtual laser (see figure) consists of a six degree of
freedom tracker (1), virtual laser gun (2), virtual laser beam (3),
trigger mechanism (4), and supporting VR software.  The tracker is
typically attached to the back of a user's hand and provides position
and orientation information to the VR software.  The VR software uses
this information to draw the virtual laser.  The location of the
virtual laser in the 3-D environment is updated by the software and
displayed in real time.  The virtual laser beam is drawn when the
user pulls the trigger.  The VR software calculates the intersection
between the virtual laser beam and objects in the VR environment.  An
object intersected by the beam is then manipulated according to the
action of the virtual laser.  For example, an object touched by the
beam might change color to indicate that it has been selected.  A
user could then carry out another action, e.g., delete, on the
selected object(s) using a gesture or voice command.

      The virtual laser could be readily implemented with hardware
and software available today. Six degree of freedom tracking devices
are available in the market from several manufacturers.  The VR
software for the virtual laser requires a driver for the tracking
device, a 3D graphics library for rendering the virtual laser and
beam, and object/beam intersection software.

      The primary concept disclosed here is the use of a virtual
laser beam, derived from hand position and orientation, to manipulate
object(s) within a virtual reality environment.  To enhance invention
coverage and provide further indications of the utility of this
invention, the following information is offered on how this basic
concept might be used in various implementations.

      The trigger for the virtual laser could be a gesture, a voice
command, or a piece of hardware (button).  The effect of pulling the
trigger is to cause the VR software to display the virtual laser beam
and start calculating intersections with virtual objects.  Once an
object is touched by the beam, it is manipulated according to the
action of the virtual laser and the mode the laser is in.  The
virtual laser could be used in one of several modes: immediate
action, direct action, and delayed action.  In the immediate action
mode, the selected action occurs as soon as the beam touches an
object.  In the direct action mode, a user can choose to act on an
object while the object is in the beam.  For instance, if a user
wants to delete an object, he triggers the virtual laser and then
chooses the desired action through a voice or gestural command, while
keeping the beam in contact with the object.  This is analogous to a
laser scop...