Building a Haptically Enhanced Computer Desktop for the Physically Disabled using a Force Feedback Mouse

B. Holbert and M. Huber (USA)


haptic, mouse, performance, GUI, targeting, prediction


The human-computer interface remains a mostly visual environment with little or no haptic interaction and is generally dominated by the GUI/mouse relationship which poses strong requirements on the user’s visual and motor capabilities. For users with disabilities affecting their dexterity this often makes the use of common computer systems and applications difficult if not impossible. While haptics is finding inroads in specialized areas such as surgery, gaming, and robotics, there has been little work to bring haptics to the computer desktop environment. We feel that a haptically enhanced interface could have significant impact assisting those with disabilities in target identification and selection on a computer desktop and thus holds the promise to enable them to utilize more fully computers and the information available through them The study presented in this paper is intended to evaluate haptic effects used with a force feedback mouse on a computer desktop and a prediction algorithm designed to focus those effects on the desired target within the interface for disabled individuals. This paper introduces experimental results from targeting tasks using differing haptic effects, presents a prediction algorithm designed for use with disabled individuals, and discusses future directions.

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