Matt Imus - UX Design and Research

Design Research: Controlling Objects in Mixed Reality


Controlling Objects in Mixed Reality

Timeframe: 10 weeks (2018)
Derrick Ho • Nirawit Jittipairoj • Derek Burkhardsmeier • Matt Imus
Personal role: Concept development and video production

Interactions in Mixed Reality

If computers could understand their context, how would we choose to communicate with them? If mixed reality could help us interact with light, what interactions would most easily indicate common commands? We’ve answered these questions through a case study in controlling audio content.

Experience Video

Here’s how we imagine it - 60 second video

View the Video

Presentation Slide Deck

Case study slide deck - 12MB PDF

View the Presentation Deck (.PDF)



Light As Object

Light as Object
The UI elements may be made of light, but they behave like real objects. By extending the metaphor of physical objects to the user interface, we intuitively understand how to interact. A UI based on objects is native to the medium and superior in use - no more clumsy air taps in an abstracted 2D interface.

Hololens Prototype

HoloLens Prototype
We built a prototype to test our interaction model and found that a UI placed lower in the field of vision was more comfortable than a traditional 2D interface floating at eye level.

Group discussion

The Team
We collectively worked on concept development for 8 weeks, then split into individual specialties for our final two weeks. I took on video responsibilities, including planning, equipment, shooting, editing, and post effects to integrate Derek’s 3D animations.

The Future of a Medium

The technology powering mixed reality experiences is progressing rapidly, yet no sufficient interaction models have emerged in this field. Current models are ill suited to the medium, having primarily mimicked the 2-dimensional interfaces of the desktop world, simply projecting them in 3-dimensional space instead of creating interactions more suitable to the medium. The lack of practical interaction methods in this medium is a barrier to mainstream adoption.

The metaphors of the last generation of technology are an inevitable default condition in any new technological medium. The better option is to establish direct, natural metaphors early in this new medium’s development, ensuring the highest level of communication in the interaction of humans and their technology.

For a more academic study of metaphors in mixed reality, see my research paper on Metaphors of Physicality in Interaction Design

View Research Paper (.PDF)

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