Design patterns for Immersive Tech

Virtual Reality patterns

Teleporting with ‘lock onto target’

User goals

Understand where there are specific locations with hidden content or particular functionality exists

Interaction

  1. The general interaction works exactly like teleporting, but the target destination is pre-determined by the environment
  2. These intended locations are indicated by some kind of circle, icon or other visual cue showing the location
  3. As the user moves the teleport target near to one of these location icons, it magnetically locks on
  4. There is usually a change in the appearance of the location icon or the teleport target or both when they lock together to facilitate teleporting to exactly the right direction
  5. The target lock is sometimes combined with re-orientation to ensure the user is facing the correct direction when they land
  6. There is usually a hidden menu or other discoverable experience for the user at the location.

Good

  • Allows specific discoverable experiences to be indicated in a virtual environment
  • Provides an easy way to teleport to important locations
  • The magnetic snap-on effect makes it clear to the system and to the user that there is a clear intention to teleport into the specific location.

Bad

  • If the magnetic snap-on effect is too strong or works over too wide an area it may result in users accidentally teleporting to the hidden experience
  • It’s not always clear what the specific function or hidden experience will be. In a game this is probably even desirable, but in an interactive application there should be some kind of disclosure, prior to the user completing the teleport (e.g. a label or clue that appears when the teleport target locks on)
  • In some cases the location indicator icon is only visible once the user starts the teleport interaction. This means if the user is static, they may fail to discover the hidden locations

Design challenges

  • If this pattern is combined with re-orientation, it needs to be clear firstly that the user needs to orientate and secondly in which specific direction

Examples

Steam VR Home: Icon reveals location of predetermined targets with hidden menus. The teleport ‘ray-cast’ locks onto the icon to facilitate the teleport.

Steam VR Home teleport with lock to a specific target to reveal location of hidden menu

Robo Recall (Oculus): Locking into specific target pattern combined with re-orientation

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