Get a Grip: Evaluating Grip Gestures for VR Input Using a Lightweight Pen

Nianlong Li, Teng Han, Feng Tian, Jin Huang, Minghui Sun, Pourang Irani, Jason Alexander

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

8 Citations (SciVal)
82 Downloads (Pure)


The use of Virtual Reality (VR) in applications such as data analysis, artistic creation, and clinical settings requires high precision input. However, the current design of handheld controllers, where wrist rotation is the primary input approach, does not exploit the human fingers' capability for dexterous movements for high precision pointing and selection. To address this issue, we investigated the characteristics and potential of using a pen as a VR input device. We conducted two studies. The first examined which pen grip allowed the largest range of motion---we found a tripod grip at the rear end of the shaft met this criterion. The second study investigated target selection via 'poking' and ray-casting, where we found the pen grip outperformed the traditional wrist-based input in both cases. Finally, we demonstrate potential applications enabled by VR pen input and grip postures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2020 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Print)9781450367080
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2020

Publication series

NameCHI ’20
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)


  • finger and wrist dexterity
  • grip postures
  • virtual reality
  • pen input
  • handheld controller
  • spatial target selection


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