Direct Manipulation and the Third Dimension

Recent advances in touch and display technologies are supporting a wide-spread use of touch-based direct manipulation techniques as well as 3D displays that give a perspectively correct view. Both techniques have consistency constraints including the following: With direct manipulation, a dragged object should stick to the finger tip. With viewer centered projection, head movement should update the scene’s projection to preserve a sound 3D impression, e.g., leaning around a house should reveal its backyard. Unfortunately, these two contradict each other, making a combination, e.g., moving the head while touching or dragging an object, non-trivial.

We introduce a design space of perspectively adjusted methods for direct manipulation to cope with this limitation, select nine different strategies from it, and evaluate six of them in depth. Participants dragged a box through a 3D maze with multiple, partially occluded levels. We identified one method to be among the fastest while yielding up to 32% less collisions than the other fast methods.

The Team

This is a research project of Max Möllers and Patrick Zimmer from the Media Computing Group.



  • Max Möllers, Patrick Zimmer and Jan Borchers. Direct Manipulation and the Third Dimension: A Design Space for Co-Planar Dragging on 3D Displays.  In CHI '12: Extended Abstracts of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems,Austin, USA, May 2012.
    PDF DocumentBibTeX Entry
  • Max Möllers, Patrick Zimmer and Jan Borchers. Direct Manipulation and the Third Dimension: Co-Planar Dragging on 3D Displays.  In ITS '12: Proceedings of the 2012 ACM international conference on Interactive tabletops and surfaces,  In Proceedings of ITS2012, ITS '12, pages 11–20, ACM, New York, NY, USA, Nov 2012.
    HomepageMoviePDF DocumentBibTeX Entry

FileDescriptionFile sizeDownloadsLast modified
Download this file (3dtouch.m4v)3dtouch.m4vVideo Teaser32057 kB15112012-09-20 17:01
Download this file ( data and raw logs3704 kB13712012-09-20 11:16

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.