Design patterns for Immersive Tech

Air Tap button selection

User goals

  • Target and select a button or option from a digital menu
  • Make a section by pressing with a finger, like on a touch screen or real physical button
  • Understand which option or button is being targeted and selected


Air taping or using the finger to select options presented within a digital menu is already used in VR, particularly with Oculus touch controllers that allow simulation of hand and finger interactions. It’s also been a goal for AR for some time, often featuring in demo videos of how we’ll interact with spatial computers of the future. Today, Leap Motion and Hololens 2 are making this possible with fully articulated hand tracking.

Elements to the interaction:

  • Some kind of digital menu or panel with buttons and options is presented to the user in a space they can reach with their hand.
  • The user presses the button with the finger as if it was a touch screen or real button
  • The button reacts to the users finger press
  • It may highlight the cursor position as the finger hovers to indicate what button is about to be pressed (targeting)
  • It may animate to show the button being pressed in, to provide feedback that this option is now being selected
  • It may be accompanied by suitable audio or haptic feedback



Hololens 2: Air tapping buttons on digital menu