With the advancement of computer techniques, a greater emphasis has been placed on intuitive human-computer interactions (HCIs). Virtual Reality systems can offer a novel way for users to interact with the objects in the computer generated environment (the so called Virtual Environment, VE). Through VR technology, we have the ability to replace the traditional input device, such as keyboard and mouse, with other modes such as speech and gesture.
In our research project, we use a CyberGlove, developed by Virtual Technology Inc., as an input device to develop a desktop CAD modeling system for conceptual designers. We elaborate the limitations of the Dataglove and use gestures to support intuitive human-computer interface. To develop this gesture interface, we emphasize that conceptual designers are allowed full-freedom to use different kinds of gestures to conduct various geometric shape operations instead of depending solely on keyboard and 2D mouse. The designers can indicate objects or directions simply by pointing with the hand, and manipulate the position and orientation of an object by grasping and turning. The “virtual tools” can be used for shaping, cutting, and joining objects. We employ the 3D GUIs for enhancing the gesture interface. In the VE, the 3D menu and “virtual hand” float over the objects rather than being part of the scene. Various 3D cursors can be used to select menu or manipulate the object.