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In this paper, we present the results of a user study with a bimanual haptic setup. The goal of the experiment was to evaluate if Guiard's theory of the bimanual frame of reference can be applied to interaction tasks in virtual environments (VE) with haptic rendering. This theory proposes an influence of the non-dominant hand (NDH) on the dominant hand (DH). The experiment was conducted with multiple trials under two different conditions: bimanual and unimanual. The interaction task in this scenario was a sequence of pointing, alignment and docking sub-tasks for the dominant hand. In the bimanual condition, an asynchronous pointing task was added for the non-dominant hand. This additional task was primarily designed to bring the non-dominant hand closer to the other hand and thus enable the creation of a frame of reference. Our results show the potential of this task design extension (with NDH utilization). Task completion times are significantly lower in the bimanual condition compared to the unimanual case, without significant impact on overall precision. Furthermore, the bimanual condition shows better mean accuracy over several measures, e.g., lateral displacement and penetration depth. Additionally, subject performance was not only compared for all participants, but also between subgroups: medical vs. non-medical and gamer vs. non-gamer. User preference for a bimanual system over a unimanual system has been indicated with a post-test questionnaire.
3D User Interfaces (3DUI), 2011 IEEE Symposium on
Date of Conference: 19-20 March 2011