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An experiment was performed to evaluate the effectiveness of using haptics (force feedback of a manual joystick) in a non-visual computing environment. It was believed that a haptic display would enhance, if not eliminate, the need for the visual sense when attempting to view graphical information. Sight impaired people could use haptic interfaces to facilitate the navigation of human computer interfaces which are, by their nature, graphically intensive. Subjects manipulated a force feedback joystick a random distance until over a vibrating target of random width. An inwards/outwards and right/left test was administrated. Movement times were found to be a linear function of the level of task difficulty as defined by Shannon’s formation of Fitts law, log2 (D/W + 1). Two linear relationships were found. The first when the joystick traveled the smallest distance and the other with all other distances. Results indicate that haptics could be used to show graphical information.


William D. Shoaff

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