Proximity Sensors: The Basics

Proximity Sensors let you add interactivity to Vizible Presentations so that participants can trigger a wide range of actions with buttons and more. Go beyond the built-in collaboration tools and use Proximity Sensors to make your presentations dynamic and interactive.

Proximity Sensors: The Basics

Proximity Sensors are one of the most powerful features of Vizible Presentation Designer, and learning how to use them will help you create rich, dynamic VR experiences. With Proximity Sensors, you can make it so that when users click on or move to a certain space in the scene, actions are triggered. These actions can be animations on 3D models (e.g. scaling, rotation, movement), transitions to other slides, play/stop of video or sounds, and more. You can even design your own user interfaces with well-placed Proximity Sensors.

Adding Proximity Sensors to Your Scene

To add a Proximity Sensor to your Vizible Presentation, drag the "Proximity Sensor" asset from your Asset Library into the Scene View, as shown above. You can add as many Proximity Sensors as you want. The sensor initially appears as a tall cylinder with a blue highlight. You can adjust the shape of the proximity sensor by right clicking on it in the scene or the component graph and selecting "set shape". This will pull up the shape property in the component graph and you can select another shape from the drop-down menu. Shape options are box, sphere, circle, and rectangle.

You can also change the position and scale of the Proximity Sensor by using the transform and scale tools on the top left of the scene view. If you don't want the Proximity Sensor to be visible in the scene, you can toggle it's visibility by right clicking on it and toggling the "hidden" property. Proximity Sensors that are hidden will still be active in the scene - they just won't be visible.

Setting Triggers

Once you've positioned your Proximity Sensor, you need to determine how users interact with it. You do this by setting the "Trigger". A Trigger is what sets off, or "triggers" an action. Triggers can be either button presses or be based on proximity. See the available triggers by right clicking on a Proximity Sensor and hovering over "On Trigger". This will pull up the available Trigger:

  • Inside Button Press: setting this Trigger means that the Trigger will go off as soon as users press a button on their controller (or mouse if on desktop) within the area of the Proximity Sensor. It won't wait for the button to be released, it will go off as soon as the button is pressed.
  • Inside Button Release: setting this Trigger means that the Trigger will go off as soon as users press and release a button on their controller within the area of the Proximity Sensor. This is the Trigger to use for a typical button click. Think about common interactivity on a website - most buttons only work once you press AND release your mouse button.
  • Enter Proximity: Proximity-based Triggers rely on user position. The Enter Proximity Trigger goes off when users move a hand, head, or other object into the area of the Proximity Sensor. You can specifically set which object (e.g. hand, head, other object in the scene) will cause the Trigger to fire by selecting the "Target".
  • Exit Proximity: The Exit Proximity Trigger goes off when users first move a hand, head, or other object into the area of the Proximity Sensor, but then also move outside of it. Maybe you want an action to happen once users move past a certain area of the environment. You could set an Exit Proximity trigger to accomplish this.

Setting Actions on Objects

Once you select your Trigger, the Proximity Sensor will turn green. This lets you know that you are in a special editing mode where you can set the Actions that will happen as soon as the Trigger goes off. You can set as many Actions as you want to be linked to any particular Proximity Sensor. For example, one Sensor could trigger a few different Actions that happen at the same time. 

Once you select a Trigger and the Proximity Sensor is green, you can select an object in your scene or in the component graph, right click on it, and choose an Action from the list that appears. This is the Action that will happen when the user triggers the Proximity Sensor based on the trigger you've set (either button press or proximity).

So, what can these Actions be? Let's start with animations. On nearly any object in the Scene, you can set "Scale To", "Move To", "Rotate To", and "Fade To", letting you animate objects in various ways. When you select an action, you'll see it appear in the component graph where you can then adjust the values. 

Note that you can also set the Duration, or the time it will take to animate to the values you set. Lower duration means the animation will happen faster, and higher duration means it will happen slower. You can also set "Spin" as an action, which will cause an object to start spinning.

When you're in the Proximity Sensor editing mode, you'll see a preview of the Action that you select. In the video below, I configure my Proximity Sensor so that when a user pushes and releases the trigger on their VR controller in the area of the Sensor, the 3D model of a tractor in my scene will get bigger using the "Scale To" action.

 I want it to scale up over a period of 2 seconds. so I'll adjust the Duration accordingly. Once I've set my trigger, I can leave the Proximity Sensor editing mode by right clicking on the scene and selecting "Exit Active Trigger". The Proximity Sensor goes back to its original blue color. To preview my action, I go back in and select the "Inside Button Release" trigger on the Proximity Sensor. Then you'll see a preview of all Actions you've set up on that particular Trigger.


If you want the Action to be instantaneous, instead of a gradual shift, you'll want to use "Set Position", "Set Rotation", "Set Scale", or "Set Alpha". with those Actions, the values are changed immediately. If you want an object to immediately go from one position to another, or immediately get bigger, you'll want to use one of these actions. You can also toggle the "hidden" property as an Action so that setting off a Trigger causes an object to appear or disappear. Tip: to make an object appear as a result of a button click or other trigger, make sure the object is initially set to "hidden" before you go in and set your Proximity Sensor actions.

Tip: Remember that when you're done setting the Actions linked to your Proximity Sensor, right click anywhere in the scene and select "Exit Active Trigger". The Proximity Sensor will go back to its original blue color and you'll be back to the regular presentation editing mode.

Setting Special Actions on Playable Objects (Video, Sounds, Avatar Recordings)

Beyond triggering the actions described above, you can also use Proximity Sensors to cause a movie or sound in your scene to start/stop playing. To do this, bring a Proximity Sensor in your scene and set the Trigger. When the Proximity Sensor turns green and you're in the sensor editing mode, select a playable object (e.g. video, sound), right click on it, and then select "Start Playing". This means that when the Trigger goes off in your scene, the playable object will start playing. 

You can also adjust the Volume value and toggle "Looping" on or off if you want to adjust those properties. Here I am configuring a Proximity Sensor so that when a user presses + releases a button on their controller (or does a mouse click) in the area of the Sensor, the video nearby will begin playing.


Setting Slide Transitions

You can use Proximity Sensors to trigger transitions to other slides in your Vizible Presentations. This is a powerful way to let participants navigate through your virtual reality experience. Vizible Presentations don't need to be linear affairs where material is presented in the same order each time. For example, you could set up a number of Proximity Sensors on the first slide that each link out to different slides, letting users choose what slide they go to next. 

Maybe you want to create a branching narrative experience that hinges on user choice, or you're making a learning environment that takes users to different slides based on the way they respond to questions you've embedded in the scene.

To set a Slide Transition with Proximity Sensors, bring a Proximity Sensor into your scene and give it a trigger. When the Proximity Sensor turns green, select the "Scene" object in the component graph and right click on it. You'll see "Set Slide" as an available action. Once you select that, you'll see a space where you can pick a number. This is where you can select a slide in your presentation, and when a participant in your Vizible session triggers the Proximity Sensor, the Presentation will move to that slide, immersing everyone in a new scene. 

Here I am setting a Proximity Sensor so that when users Enter the area of the Sensor, the Presentation will automatically transition to Slide 5.


Note: If you want Proximity Sensors to be active but not visible in your Presentation, remember to mark them as "hidden" in Presentation Designer by right clicking them and toggling the "Hidden Property".

This article covers the basics of Proximity Sensors and shows you how to do quite a bit, but we have another one coming soon on some more advanced things you can do.


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