Julia Dörner, Tobias Höllerer
Displaying information on 2D rectangular screens is unnatural and limiting for humans. The interaction with a 2D screen via touch or a mouse is distinct from using and manipulating real objects. For various 3D data like panoramic photographs and 360 degree videos we require a better way for displaying this information. Virtual reality and curved or even spherical displays were developed to circumvent this problem. Museums, planetariums and artists use spherical displays to reach and educate people in public spaces. Due to its spherical shape continuous information can be displayed both vertically and horizontally which makes its content borderless but finite. This allows users to face each other and keep eye-contact while interacting with the display.
A drawback of spherical displays are that their construction costs increase the price of commercially available products. Virtual Reality offers a cheaper solution by simulating spherical displays, in lieu of building them. This introduces another issue though, as VR controllers are not built for tangible interaction by default. In this project, we created a design space to test different paradigms for interaction with a large spherical display. As a tangible sphere we used an acrylic glass ball with a VR Tracker mounted inside.