A common way to have an abstract effect on a virtual immersive environment, such as switching applications or changing settings, is to use a 2D menu in a 3D space. These menus can be tethered to a specific location in the environment, to the viewport of the user, or to some part of the body. When tethered to world-space, as a flat panel, they need to be oriented towards the user in order to be usable. A user moving around the space also disrupts this orientation. World space menus can be arrayed in an egocentric fashion or turned to always face the viewer, but this, like screen-space tethered menus, occludes a large portion of the environment.
Using 3D tools to have an interact with virtual environments solves the aforementioned problems, and conceptually makes more sense in fundamentally 3D space. This leaves, however, the question of how to carry them.
Pockets is a simple means of organizing and carrying 3D tools and other objects in virtual environment. Pockets make use of a belt with physical buttons, that objects can be assigned to. The Pockets design not only enables users to use their muscle memory to store and retrieve objects, thereby making tool use more efficient, but also solves the occlusion problem associated with state of the art approaches such as 2D menus tied to the body or to world space.
More information about Pockets can be found at its SIGGRAPH poster, or in my masters thesis.