mca 22(20): e4

Research Article

Marker-based Tangible Interfaces for Smartphone-based Virtual Reality

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  • @ARTICLE{10.4108/eai.11-4-2022.173802,
        author={Jorge C. S. Cardoso and Jorge M. Ribeiro},
        title={Marker-based Tangible Interfaces for Smartphone-based Virtual Reality},
        journal={EAI Endorsed Transactions on Mobile Communications and Applications},
        keywords={tangible user interface, tangible book, virtual reality, smartphone-based virtual reality},
  • Jorge C. S. Cardoso
    Jorge M. Ribeiro
    Year: 2022
    Marker-based Tangible Interfaces for Smartphone-based Virtual Reality
    DOI: 10.4108/eai.11-4-2022.173802
Jorge C. S. Cardoso1,*, Jorge M. Ribeiro2
  • 1: University of Coimbra, CISUC, DEI, Coimbra, Portugal
  • 2: University of Coimbra, DEI, Coimbra, Portugal
*Contact email:


In this work, we describe an approach for tangible interaction for smartphone-based VR using visual markers. Smartphone-based VR represents a low barrier to entry given that many people nowadays own a smartphone device and that VR headsets for these devices are affordable and quick to set up when compared to desktop-based VR. Tangible interaction in smartphone-based VR has not been much explored, despite the fact that it can result in easy to use and engaging experiences. We explore a marker-based solution to object tracking that allows tangibles to be created in an easy and cheap way, maintaining the overall system accessible. We describe several types of interactions that can be created with visual markers and we present three prototypes of the Tangible VR Book: a tangible with a book form-factor that we designed for architectural heritage exploration. We also present user feedback on their expectations regarding the interaction with the Tangible VR Book.