TilePoP: Tile-type Pop-up Prop for Virtual Reality

Publication - ACM UIST 2019 | Best Paper Honorable Mention

Shan-Yuan Teng, Cheng-Lung Lin, Chi-huan Chiang, Tzu-Sheng Kuo, Liwei Chan, Da-Yuan Huang, and Bing-Yu Chen

We present TilePoP, a new type of pneumatically-actuated interface deployed as floor tiles which dynamically pop up by inflating into large shapes constructing proxy objects for whole-body interactions in Virtual Reality. TilePoP consists of a 2D array of stacked cube-shaped airbags designed with spe- cific folding structures, enabling each airbag to be inflated into a physical proxy and then deflated down back to its original tile shape when not in use. TilePoP is capable of providing haptic feedback for the whole body and can even support human body weight. Thus, it allows new interaction possibilities in VR. Herein, the design and implementation of TilePoP are de- scribed in detail along with demonstrations of its applications and the results of a preliminary user evaluation conducted to understand the users’ experience with TilePoP.

Figure 1. TilePoP is a pneumatic interface deployed as floor tiles that can pop up by inflating into physical shapes for whole-body interactions in VR. a) The user walks on the collapsed tiles. b) The tiles pop up into a shape approximating a dinosaur. c) The user mounts the prop. d) The tiles pop up into a boat shape. e) A user steps into the boat and sits down.

Figure 2. An expansion view of the material and structure of an airbag used in TilePoP.

Figure 3. TilePoP and its pneumatically-actuated system.