Evaluation of pointing techniques for ray casting selection in virtual environments

Sangyoon Lee, Jinseok Seo, Gerard Joimghyun Kim, Chan Mo Park

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Various techniques for object selection in virtual environments have been proposed over the years. Among them, the virtual pointer or ray-casting is one of the most popular method for object selection because it is easy and intuitive to use and allows the user to select objects that are far away. Variants of the virtual pointer metaphor include the Aperture, Flashlight, and Image plane method as categorized as such by [10]. In a monoscopic environment, these methods are essentially 2D interaction techniques, as the selection is made effectively on the image plane. Such a 2D based selection (or more generally, interaction) method has an added advantage in that it can find many good uses in 3D environments ranging from a simple 2D oriented subtask (object selection on a constrained surface, menu selection) to a siutation where a whole 2D application (e.g. sketching tool, desktop manager) is embedded in the 3D environment. In this paper, we experimentally compare the performance of four different virtual pointer implementations, namely, the direct image plane selection, head-directed pointer, hand directed pointer and head-hand directed pointer. The experimental results revealed that the direct image plane selection produced the best performance among the four in terms of both task completion time and the pixel-level pointing error.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-44
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes
EventThird International Conference on Virtual Reality and Its Application in Industry - Hangzhou, China
Duration: Apr 9 2002Apr 12 2002


  • 2D based interaction
  • Object selection
  • Pointing
  • Ray casting
  • Task performance
  • Virtual pointer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of pointing techniques for ray casting selection in virtual environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this