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Interaction Components

Controller Blueprints

The implementation for the different controllers is done in components for easy extension or replacement in the actors.

The parent component class BP_ControllerComponent (located under SnapdragonSpacesSamples Content > SnapdragonSpaces > Common > Core > Components) holds access to the gaze and pointer controller. This blueprint also establishes the basis for managing the interaction and includes some options that are customizable for the developer in all derived controllers.

  • Auto Activate: Indicates if the controller is enabled by default.
  • Delay Start: Time that should elapse until interaction should be enabled when the app starts or loads a new map.
  • Tag Component: Name of the tag on the parent component (from pawn character) for later references from the controller component implementation.

Some functions to consider in order to interact with the controller components or create a custom child controller component are:

  • Start: This event should be called only the first time to initialize the controller, and doesn't support overwrite. Preferably from Begin Play node.
  • Start_Implementation: This function contains the particular initialization of each child component.
  • Set Default Controller: Configures whether the component should be activated after initialization. For this reason, is only useful if the call is done before the Start function.
  • Enable: Enables the component.
  • Disable: Disables the component.
  • Is Enable: Returns if the component is enabled.
  • Press/Release Button: Manages the button interaction using the Widget Interaction Component.
  • Is Over Interactable Widget: Returns if the Widget Interaction Component is pointing a widget.

The key element of the controllers for an XR project is the Widget Interaction Component. All components or derivatives should only establish the rules to interact depending on the type of the controller. For basic information about this component, please refer to the Unreal documentation.

Gaze Controller

The gaze controller BP_GazeControllerComponent (located under SnapdragonSpacesSamples Content > SnapdragonSpaces > Common > Core > Components), manages the raycasting and interactions with widget actors in the scene as well as the delay interaction functionality and "click" functionality of the pointer.


Currently, the gaze pointer can only interact with widget actors in the scene, unlike the Pointer Controller, which can interact with both widgets and 3D actors.

Some options are customizable for the developer as:

  • Move Reticle to Hit: If this boolean is enabled and the user looks at an interactive actor, the reticle moves to the interactive position of the actor.
  • Timer Duration: How many seconds the user has to look at something to select it.
  • Default Distance: When bMoveReticleToHit is active, this sets the distance at which the gaze controller is drawn.
  • Vertical Bias: The vertical position of the reticle considering 0 the center of the screen, 1 the top of the screen, and -1 the bottom of the screen.
  • Reticle Outer Ring: Material for the outer ring reticle, if it is NULL assumes that the outer ring is disabled. Deprecated in SDK Version 0.15.0.

Gaze controller component settings

Finally, the reticle, which the samples use to point to the world, is composed of a hidden Widget Component and a Stereo Layer component. All components related to gaze are always distinguished using the Component Tags (gaze), and the controller component assumes that the Widget Interaction Component for the gaze will always be the parent of the other necessary components.

  • Stereo Layer: To prevent a jittery feeling with the pointer, it is recommended to render the texture in the stereo layer. To work properly the Live Texture must to be enabled, and the Stereo Layer Shape should be set to Quad Layer. Keep in mind that Unreal interprets the transform values of this component as relative to the camera rather than the parent component or the actor to which it is attached, as is usual in other components. The function Update Reticle Position (in the component blueprint) moves the widget to the interaction hit position, and calculates the relative location to the camera for use in the stereo layer. However, the size must be defined using the Quad Size variable instead of the scale. In addition, the Texture is not initialized because the controller component copies the render of the Widget Component to it.

Stereo layer component settings

  • Widget Component: This component is hidden because the Stereo Layer is the responsible for redering the pointer. The original texture can be modified from the WBP_GazePointer asset (located under SnapdragonSpacesSamples Content > SnapdragonSpaces > Common > UI). It is using a static material for the inner ring (MI_Reticle_Inner) and a dynamic material for the outer ring (MI_Reticle_Outer). This dynamic material defines a parameter (Percentage) to complete the visual effect of the reticle interaction.

Pointer Controller

The main behavior of the pointer controller is implemented in BP_PointerControllerComponent (located under SnapdragonSpacesSamples Content > SnapdragonSpaces > Common > Core > Components). The basis of how it works is common to the other controllers, but the initialization also manages whether if it is being used on a device that supports 3DoF or 6DoF. Controllers using the microsoft interaction profile will be automatically enabled as 3DoF controllers and controllers using the oculus interaction profile will be automatically enabled as 6DoF in the Motion Controller Component.

Motion Controller Component profiles

Please, note that the hand selected must be Left when using 3DoF. For 6DoF, the hand selected could be Left or Right depending on which hand the controller is designed for. In addition, the developer can also select which controller handles the interaction.

The Spawn Controller function, spawns a child of the BP_PointerController class actor set on the Motion Controller Class variable.

The BP_PointerController actor (located under SnapdragonSpacesSamples Content > SnapdragonSpaces > Common > Placeable) is ready to manage each individual controller.

The Motion Controller Component is added as a child of the root component to manage each controller. The Visualization section of this component allows rendering a 3D model in the virtual world following the controller movement in the real world, just enabling the Display Device Model option. In addition, if the developer is interested in showing the default mesh of each device depending on the profile, has to select OpenXR in the Display Model Source option. Otherwise, the developer can select Custom to customize it, and add the mesh in Custom Display Mesh. Finally, in the Motion Controller section, the developer should assign the type of input.

Motion Controller Component settings

Only if the interaction is enabled, the Motion Controller Component must have attached: the Widget Interaction Component to properly track the real world movement of the controller, and a Static Mesh Component, called Laser Pointer Mesh in the sample, to visualize the pointer. Independent of interaction, if a 6DoF device is being used instead, the parent component needs to attach a Child Actor Component using the BP_XRControllerRepresentation (located under SnapdragonSpacesSamples Content > SnapdragonSpaces > Common > Placeable) to display the controller and its animations.

Hand Tracking Controller

The hand tracking controller BP_HandTrackingControllerComponent (located under SnapdragonSpacesSamples Content > SnapdragonSpaces > Common > Core > Components) is in charge of spawning and enabling the actors needed to use hand tracking distal interaction. Those actors will automatically handle the interaction. This controller will only be active if the Hand Tracking feature, located under Project Settings > Snapdragon Spaces plugin, is active. The controller will allow interaction for both widget actors in the scene and actors that can be interacted with hand tracking. Find more information about how the hand tracking interaction works in the Hand Tracking Sample.


Currently, the hand tracking interaction is not available to use in the Unreal Engine editor.

Input Cheat Sheet

Buttons used for input actions:

Host ControllerRight XR ControllerLeft XR Controller
SelectTap on TrackpadRight Trigger ButtonLeft Trigger Button
Gaze/Pointer switchMenu ButtonNoneLeft Menu Button
TouchpadTrackpadNoneLeft Joystick
Anchor Position ConfirmationTap on TrackpadAny Trigger ButtonAny Trigger Button

In the samples app there is a difference between AR and VR/MR devices when using the three input modalities:

  • AR Devices: Switching between Hand Tracking, Gaze Controller, and Pointer Controller should be done with the menu button.
  • VR/MR Devices: With the menu button, the user can only change between the Gaze Controller and Hand Tracking/Pointer Controller. The switch between Hand Tracking input and the Pointer Controllers (and vice versa) will happen automatically depending on the controllers' tracking status. When no controllers are tracked, the system will automatically change to Hand Tracking input. When using Hand Tracking input and then controllers are detected, the system will automatically change to the Pointer Controllers input modality.


The 3D Widgets located in the world must be created using the blueprint BP_3DWidget (located under SnapdragonSpacesSamples Content > Snapdragon > Common > UI) and define the UI in the WidgetComponent. In order to work with the gaze or pointer controller, it must be a child class of this class.

Haptic Feedback

To use Haptic Feedback, Snapdragon Spaces provides the SetSpacesHapticsByValue function, which can be called from Blueprints. This function takes in the player controller, the frequency (Hz), the amplitude (Cm) and duration (sec) of the haptic impulse, and the controller hand as parameters.

SetSpacesHapticsByValue blueprint node