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Haptic-Assisted Target Acquisition in a Visual Point-and-Click Task for Computer Users with Motion Impairments

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3 Author(s)
Christopher T. Asque ; University of East Anglia, Norwich ; Andy M. Day ; Stephen D. Laycock

Haptic assistance is the process of using force feedback to aid the operator in human-computer interaction (HCI). This may take the form of guiding the operator toward a target or assisting them in its selection. Haptic feedback has previously been investigated to assist motion-impaired computer users; however, limitations of previous 2 DOF haptic target acquisition techniques such as gravity wells and high-friction-targets have hampered progress. In this paper, two new haptic-assistive techniques are presented that utilize the 3 DOF capabilities of the Phantom Omni to produce assistance that is designed specifically for motion-impaired computer users. These include haptic cones and V-shaped funnels. To evaluate the effectiveness of the new haptic techniques, a series of point-and-click experiments were undertaken in parallel with cursor analysis to compare the levels of performance. The task required the operator to produce a predefined sentence on the Windows-On-Screen Keyboard. The results of the study prove that higher performance levels can be achieved using techniques that are less constricting than traditional assistance and without many of the drawbacks. Haptic cones produced the most significant results when compared to an unassisted interface with a mean improvement of 53 percent in the number of missed clicks and 145 percent improvement in throughput.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Haptics  (Volume:5 ,  Issue: 2 )