Gaining the High Ground: Teleportation to Mid-Air Targets in Immersive Virtual Environments

Teleportation to a mid-air target using our Simultaneous or Two-Step technique. Left: Conventional target specification for teleportation using a selection parabola. A preview avatar shows the future position in the environment. Middle: Simultaneous allows to specify the new elevation with the controller’s touchpad while moving the parabola. Two-Step allows the user to select a reference position on the same elevation before tilting the controller to move the preview up or down. For both techniques, a portal window shows the preview avatar at the new elevation. Right: Once confirmed, the user is teleported to the specified position.


Most prior teleportation techniques in virtual reality are bound to target positions in the vicinity of selectable scene objects. In this paper, we present three adaptations of the classic teleportation metaphor that enable the user to travel to mid-air targets as well. Inspired by related work on the combination of teleports with virtual rotations, our three techniques differ in the extent to which elevation changes are integrated into the conventional target selection process. Elevation can be specified either simultaneously, as a connected second step, or separately from horizontal movements. A user study with 30 participants indicated a trade-off between the simultaneous method leading to the highest accuracy and the two-step method inducing the lowest task load as well as receiving the highest usability ratings. The separate method was least suitable on its own but could serve as a complement to one of the other approaches. Based on these findings and previous research, we define initial design guidelines for mid-air navigation techniques.


Tim Weissker, Pauline Bimberg, Aalok Shashidhar Gokhale, Torsten Kuhlen, Bernd Froehlich. 2023.
Gaining the High Ground: Teleportation to Mid-Air Targets in Immersive Virtual Environments
In IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics. DOI: 10.1109/TVCG.2023.3247114