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User Interface Issues in Bimanual Dual Object Control Open Access

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While many facets of two handed tasks are encompassed in human-computer interaction, there are still several forms of interaction which remain underdeveloped in the virtual world. Specifically, controlling two objects simultaneously has not been examined as closely as it could be. Bimanual dual object control (BDOC) tasks, in which users manipulate one object with each hand, are ubiquitous in everyday life. The potential to open up new and unique interfaces for a variety of applications, such as tele-robotics, remote surgery and advanced visualization, is too significant to ignore. Applications exploiting this form of user interaction could easily be crafted, though it remains to be seen whether or not BDOC interaction is viable.Through experimentation, the viability of BDOC applications and the mechanisms by which such applications can be optimized for the user experience were determined. During a simple navigation task, parallelization of object movement was shown to improve overall completion time by 40%, but at the cost of movement accuracy and individual completion time. Out of five factors tested in an obstacle dodging task, only differentiating the shape of the subject controlled objects led to improved dodging performance. Several of the factors expected to improve performance in the dodging task actually resulted in decreased performance. Auditory cues originally intended as a warning of incoming obstacles only served to distract subjects. Differentiating the color of the two controlled objects had a negative effect on one of them, but not the other. Changing the time between obstacle appearances had little effect, regardless of the length of time. Finally, placing the subject controlled objects too close together or too far apart had the expected effect of decreasing dodging performance.

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