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4.2 3D input devices
Virtual reality is a well-suited technology for UC. It requires particular input
devices like the data glove and the tracker.
The data glove is a real glove equipped with many sensors. It owns
accelerometers and gyroscopes to obtain the whole attitude and speed of the
hand and motion sensors to detect the position of each finger joint with
respect to the palm. A data glove can be used also in a classic 3D graphic
environment where the user can manipulate 3D objects depicted on the
screen. In general, it allows a very easy interaction but is cumbersome and
expensive [10,11].
The tracker is also called spatial mouse. It has the same functionalities of
the data glove but the users hold it in their hand [11].
In virtual reality, both data glove and tracker are used with a head-
mounted display that can be realized as a helmet or as particular glasses
displaying a stereo couple of each image taken in the virtual environment.
4.3 Output devices
A full integration of UC in everyday life needs output modalities that differ
severely from traditional ones. The computer screen output will no longer be
the only way the machine can communicate with us. In the near future, aural,
visual and haptic outputs will be disseminated all around to provide us with
effective communication [13].
Output devices are all peripherals and channels that the system uses to
communicate with humans [11].
Output selection is crucial for a UC system to work properly. Multimodal
communication using visual, aural and haptic channels can be used to
simplify the message from the system to the user [11].
One can think to generate 3D output both as 3D graphics and as virtual
reality. Spoken messages can be more straightforward than visual ones; the
problem remains about the possibility for the system to have sufficient
speech samples both as natural and synthesized voice [11].
Some experiments have been conducted about haptic output to be used for
special users like the disabled [14].
4.3.1 Visual outputs
Visual outputs are needed to provide whatever user needs with clear and
understandable information. The system has to give feedback about the
interaction without boring the user. Also the particular widgets that are
present in a GUI at a certain moment can be regarded as visual output along
with their layout.
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