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Communications of the ACM

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Researchers Bring Jedi Powers to Life With Force Push


Demonstrating the use of Force Push in a virtual reality setting.

A new technique method developed by researchers at Virginia Polytechnic and State University allows virtual reality users to move faraway objects and focus with an approach for remote object manipulation.

Credit: Virginia Tech News

A virtual reality (VR) method developed by researchers at Virginia Polytechnic and State University (Virginia Tech) allows users to move faraway objects and focus with an approach for remote object manipulation.

The "Force Push" technique involves users employing their bare hands with natural gesture-to-action mapping for object manipulation in a VR environment.

Force Push offers a more physical, subtler experience than traditional hand controllers, responding to the speed and magnitude of gestures to accelerate or decelerate objects intuitively.

Virginia Tech's Doug Bowman said, "We wanted to try and do this without any device, just using your hands, and also do it with gestures in a way that's more playful."

Force Push is facilitated by physics-driven algorithms, and dynamically mapping the features of input gestures to properties of physics-based models made the interface controllable; the team used an Oculus Rift CV1 for display and Leap Motion for hand tracking.

From Virginia Tech News
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