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Three experiments examined the use of vibrotactile cues to guide an operator toward a target. Vibrotactile stimulation on the hand can provide spatially stabilizing cues for feedback of subtle changes in position. When such feedback is present, a deviation from the point of origin results in tactile stimulation indicating the direction and magnitude of the positional error. Likewise, spatial deviation from a desired position displayed tactually can provide robust position guidance and stabilization sufficient to improve the acquisition time and accuracy of fine cursor control. A major advantage of this mode of information representation is that it can be present at the same time as visual cues with minimal cross-modal interference. Our findings suggest that performance is actually enhanced when both tactile and visual cues are present. Although previous studies have suggested that various forms of tactile feedback can provide position guidance and stabilization, to our knowledge, this work is the first that details the effect of tactile feedback on target acquisition directly.
Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part C: Applications and Reviews, IEEE Transactions on (Volume:37 , Issue: 5 )
Date of Publication: Sept. 2007