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World in Miniature

Type: Navigation
Authors: Phillip Luecking, Lukas Kettenbach
Supervisors: Nikita Mattar, Thies Pfeiffer

Original Design

Being a virtual realisation of a map in the real world, the WIM is an intuitive way to navigate through a computer-generated environment. Combining this technique with a selection & manipulation method, the user is able to control a miniature model of the virtual world. For some worlds being quite big and confusing, the WIM gives the user an additional, clear viewpoint of his habitat in which he can manipulate his own position as well as other objects.

User Perspective

First of all it is an intuitive fact that the user is fully in charge of the WIM. Like wandering around in a new environment and reading a map of this place, you are able to lift the WIM into your visual field. In addition to that the user is able to manipulate himself and other objects by just picking the desired object, moving/rotating it through the world and dropping it at the targeted position.

Technical Details

The user's non-dominant hand is equipped with a clipboard attatched to a position sensor to control the position/orientation of the WIM. The clipboard's surface represents the bottom of the WIM. By looking onto the clipboard, the user gets a aerial view of the minimized virtual world.

In the dominant hand, the user is provided with a cue ball, in which two buttons and another sensor are installed. This tool is used for selection and manipulation.

Our Realization

Facing the problem of the supermarket-environment with a huge amount of small objects, we decided to put our focus on navigation. Nonetheless throughout the development we found a way to select objects in the WIM by zooming in or out. Furthermore we just select our new position instead of manipulating our avatar directly. The user is litarelly beamed to his destination.

User Perspective

The user is able to turn on or off the WiM whenever he wants, providing interference-free interacting with the original environment. Apart from that, the WiM is used like a GPS on which the user's position is labelled. For navigating, selecting and manipulating purposes, the occupant can use an userbody.

Technical Details

The user's dominant hand is equipped with a tracked WiiMote. Ontop of the WiiMote we installed an virtual userbody. The WiiMote's buttons are the only analogue input devices. They enable the user to resize the WIM, select a new position for his avatar and switch the WiM on or off. Additionally you can rotate (Y-axis) and do small steps with the directional pad. By adding a simple selection method like Ray-Casting it is possible to select and manipulate objects habitating the WiM. It is even possible to take an object in the WiM and use it in the original world.

The user's non-dominant hand is vested with a simple tracked device, which transmits the three-dimensonial position of the WiM.


  1. Richard Stoakley, Matthew J. Conway, Randy Pausch (1995). Virtual Reality on a WIM: Interactive Worlds in Miniature