I'm seeing a lot of tech demos lately that feature the user of an AR or VR system using a pinch in air or point in air gesture. I'm wondering where this convention came from. For touchscreen gestures, I know microsoft did a bunch of research in the early 2000s to create a taxonomy, but I haven't found anything for AR / VR. Thanks for the help.

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    It sounds like interactions from touch screen which users are used to. Could you link to some video that shows this gestures in-action?
    – Alvaro
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 8:58
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    At a guess I'd say they were probably based on touching or grabbing things within the three dimensional space - I don't know where you'd look for evidence though. Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 9:49
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    AR and VR is still very much in its infancy, and there hasn't been enough time for standards and conventions to bubble up, so I really doubt you will find what you are looking for.
    – SteveD
    Commented Mar 13, 2017 at 11:45
  • Thanks everyone. Does anyone else find this weird? Before multitouch even hit the market in a big way, we had lots of data and research on intuitive multitouch gestures, but it doesn't seem exist for VR / AR applications...
    – monotreme
    Commented Mar 17, 2017 at 0:02

1 Answer 1


Qualcomm did a lot of research into gestures for their AR platform (that they have since sold off). This included pinch gestures. If i remember correctly it was because their system could recognise digits plus it was to be used infront of a mobile phone camera.

Their research was augmented by knowledge shared from Microsoft Research.

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    Brilliant! I found 1 whitepaper from Qualcomm on it. Any articles or other publications you know of?
    – monotreme
    Commented Mar 16, 2017 at 23:59

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