FocalPoint is a direct manipulation technique in smartphone augmented reality (AR) for selecting small dense objects within reach, a fundamental yet challenging task in AR due to required accuracy and precision. FocalPoint uses adaptive ray casting to enhance target selection. It continuously updates a cylindrical geometry for selection disambiguation of occluded objects and improved users’ depth perception. We compare FocalPoint to a generic direct manipulation baseline technique. With higher user satisfaction, FocalPoint significantly improves selection accuracy by two times and the timed performance by 5.5 seconds, and leads to better decorated virtual houses. We demonstrated the FocalPoint fine controls in example applications for CAD modeling and robot repair.