Virtual reality (VR) headsets are becoming more common and will require evolving input mechanisms to support a growing range of applications. Because VR devices require users to wear head-mounted displays, there are accomodations that must be made in order to support specific input devices. One such device, a keyboard, serves as a useful tool for text entry. Many users will require assistance towards using a keyboard when wearing a head-mounted display. Developers have explored new mechanisms to overcome the challenges of text-entry for virtual reality. Several games have toyed with the idea of using motion controllers to provide a text entry mechanism, however few investigations have made on how to assist users in using a physical keyboard while wearing a head-mounted display. As an alternative to controller based text input, I propose that a software tool could facilitate the use of a physical keyboard in virtual reality. Using computer vision, a user€™s hands could be projected into the virtual world. With the ability to see the location of their hands relative to the keyboard, users will be able to type despite the obstruction caused by the head-mounted display (HMD). The viability of this approach was tested and the tool released as a plugin for the Unity development platform. The potential uses for the plugin go beyond text entry, and the project can be expanded to include many physical input devices.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Interactive Media and Game Development
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Gray, Keenan R., "Facilitating Keyboard Use While Wearing a Head-Mounted Display" (2018). Masters Theses (All Theses, All Years). 357.
Virtual Reality, Typing, Head-Mounted Display