Virtual prototyping has become an established design tool in complex interdisciplinary development processes. The use of functional models that enable real-time simulation as stand-ins for hardware components that are still under development has many benefits as an analysis and validation tool for developers and designers and as well as a presentation tools for communication with management and customers. Due to these benefits virtual prototyping has seen increasing acceptance in recent years, especially in the development of systems that involve complex interactions between components or require the integration of newly developed hardware. In this paper we demonstrate that the principles of virtual prototyping can also be effectively applied to the development of new user interfaces and control strategies. We describe how such an approach can be embedded into the framework of the mixed reality continuum and complement this with concrete development support through a system design pattern that extends the well established model-view-controller pattern from software engineering. The approach is demonstrated with the development of interaction techniques and the corresponding control strategies for an unmanned aerial vehicle.

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