Joystick for Mid-Air Interaction

Abstract/Technology Overview

With the rising popularity of virtual reality devices in the market, interface designers are looking for ways to connect the virtual and physical worlds in a way that blurs the line between the two worlds and creates a seamless experience for the user. With advances in virtual reality headsets, it is now possible to immerse oneself in a virtual reality setting without being bound to a desk. A conventional joystick however requires a mountable surface to function and cannot be used in mid-air.



Technology Features, Specifications and Advantages

The Smart Systems Institute has developed a ‘bottomless’ joystick that can function in mid-air. It uses a gimbal-like mechanism with a certain counterweight to create a fulcrum in mid-air, allowing strong and continuous force feedback to be reproduced. The weight is changeable according to the user’s muscular strength.


1.    The heaviness of the force feedback can be changed by slowing the response time of the gimbal.

2.    By stopping the gimbal suddenly, the joystick can create a stall effect that can be used in flight simulators.

3.    By vibrating the gimbal rapidly, the device produces the sensation of shooting a machine gun.

Potential Applications

Potential Applications include:

  • Virtual reality games
  • Flight simulators
  • general user interface between digital and physical world


Contact Person



NUS Enterprise

Technology Category
  • Human-Computer Interaction
Technology Readiness Level
  • TRL 5