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Free-Form VR Interactions in Scientific Visualization

Research Publication

Free-Form VR Interactions in Scientific Visualization. Daniel F. Keefe. IEEE Visualization 2008 Workshop on Scientific Workflow with Immersive Interfaces for Visualization (2008)


This paper describes the use of “free-form” virtual reality (VR) interactions, specifically input from sweeping 3D movements of the hands in space, within scientific visualization applications. Use of this relatively unconstrained style of input for science is often limited because it can be difficult to control, however if controlled via appropriate interaction techniques, it can also provide natural and descriptive input for many tasks. Recent research that overcomes the control limitation in several contexts is reviewed together here. Resulting benefits to scientific workflows are discussed, including benefits to scientist-driven interactions, such as marking and selection within VR visualizations, and designer-driven interactions, such as prototyping the visual aspects of VR visualizations. Remaining limitations in applying this style of input to scientific visualization tasks may be reduced in the future through combining free-form user input with data-derived input constraints.