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Levitation Simulator: Prototyping Ultrasonic Levitation Interfaces in Virtual Reality

Viktorija Paneva, Myroslav Bachynskyi and Jörg Müller
CHI’20, April 25–30, 2020, Honolulu, HI, USA
ACM ISBN 978-1-4503-6708-0/20/04.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1145/3313831.3376409

We present the Levitation Simulator, a system that enables researchers and designers to iteratively develop and prototype levitation interface ideas in Virtual Reality. This includes user tests and formal experiments. We derive a model of the movement of a levitating particle in such an interface. Based on this, we develop an interactive simulation of the levitation interface in VR, which exhibits the dynamical properties of the real interface. The results of a Fitts’ Law pointing study show that the Levitation Simulator enables performance, comparable to the real prototype. We developed the first two interactive games, dedicated for levitation interfaces: LeviShooter and BeadBounce, in the Levitation Simulator, and then implemented them on the real interface. Our results indicate that participants experienced similar levels of user engagement when playing the games, in the two environments. We share our Levitation Simulator as Open Source, thereby democratizing levitation research, without the need for a levitation apparatus.

The Levitation Simulator implementation files can be downloaded here

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