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Chris Muller
> That's an intriguing idea, but sitting down only
> suspends movement, not looking or pointing.  How
> then to tell the difference between looking and
> pointing in the 3D space, and interaction with
> menus, listboxs, radio buttons, text boxes, etc. in
> the GUI?

Here's a rough idea that came to me in the shower.. :)

I'm imagining a sliding scale that can adjust the
"rigidity" of the mouse pointer to the center of the
screen.  It adjusts the inverse relationship between
mouse look speed and mouse pointer speed.

In the "least-rigid" setting (sitting down) mouse-look
is off but mouse pointer speed is maxed.  Maybe you're
standing atop a hill overlooking a valley of hovering
windows and objects and you don't want the scene angle
jumping around.  You want to work with the objects and
you can point at them and interact normally.

In some "medium-rigidity" setting, moving the mouse
pointer about the screen also adjusts the mouse-look
viewing angle at a speed associated with the setting.
The avatar does not continue rotating when the pointer
is off-center, it only responds to mouse motion
unless, again, the pointer is held against the edge of
the screen.  So this gives a wider viewing angle as
the mouse is moved than the least-rigid setting.

At the "most-rigid" setting (standing up), the mouse
pointer is locked to the center of the screen (or
invisible) and you get full-speed mouse-look.  This
particular setting is special in that it enables the
movement keys.  So keyboard interaction with objects
in this "mode" is usurped but the nice thing about
this is that users can safely feel they are in
"read-only" mode.  Sometimes people may want to feel
assured that they are only observers and not changing
the environment in any way.  It's also a good
"browsing" mode because it permits the fastest intake
of 3d information about the environment.

Now, of course we would want the sliding scale to be
as automatic as possible, not something on the screen
all the time.  Instead, some way to let "normal"
interactions adjust the sliding scale to a sensible
setting automatically.

It's very natural for users to left-click on an object
to interact with it.  Therefore, left-clicking
anywhere while in the standing-up mode moves the scale
down to a slower setting and, therefore, disabling the
movement keys.  Perhaps the mouseDown can dynamically
pop up the slider and holding down the button will
slide the indicator down to your desired setting.  The
indicator disappears on mouseUp.  After mouseUp the
mouse pointer reappears permitting full interaction
with the objects.

The last question is how to get back to standing-up in
a natural way..  Uhhhh, hmm..  Escape key?