Text input in virtual reality is a problem that does not currently have a widely accepted standard method. As VR headsets have become more commonplace, text input has also become more important. Using a physical keyboard is not possible with a head-mounted display that blocks the users visual field. The two most popular solutions for text input in VR today are a virtual keyboard interfacing with VR controllers and voice recognition. However, they either require a handheld controller or a quiet environment. 3D-tracked controllers with a virtual keyboard can simulate a real keyboard to an extent, but they suffer from a lack of tactile feedback that makes typing slow and unintuitive. A more intuitive solution is a Swype or SwiftKey-like algorithm, where the path the users finger travels is used as input, as opposed to individually pressing each key. We implemented a prototype for the Oculus Rift with a Leap Motion controller on it that combines a novel continuous-motion text input method with hand gestures to demonstrate an all-purpose, intuitive method of text input. We compare it to state-of-the-art VR keyboard input with a virtual keyboard, as well as a head-directed input method.
Janis G. Jimenez, Jürgen P. Schulze, "Continuous-Motion Text Input in Virtual Reality" in Proc. IS&T Int’l. Symp. on Electronic Imaging: The Engineering Reality of Virtual Reality, 2018, pp 450-1 - 450-6, https://doi.org/10.2352/ISSN.2470-1173.2018.03.ERVR-450