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Title: Augmenting user interfaces with haptic feedback
Author: Asque, Christopher
ISNI:       0000 0004 5367 1377
Awarding Body: University of East Anglia
Current Institution: University of East Anglia
Date of Award: 2014
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Computer assistive technologies have developed considerably over the past decades. Advances in computer software and hardware have provided motion-impaired operators with much greater access to computer interfaces. For people with motion impairments, the main difficulty in the communication process is the input of data into the system. For example, the use of a mouse or a keyboard demands a high level of dexterity and accuracy. Traditional input devices are designed for able-bodied users and often do not meet the needs of someone with disabilities. As the key feature of most graphical user interfaces (GUIs) is to point-and-click with a cursor this can make a computer inaccessible for many people. Human-computer interaction (HCI) is an important area of research that aims to improve communication between humans and machines. Previous studies have identified haptics as a useful method for improving computer access. However, traditional haptic techniques suffer from a number of shortcomings that have hindered their inclusion with real world software. The focus of this thesis is to develop haptic rendering algorithms that will permit motion-impaired operators to use haptic assistance with existing graphical user interfaces. The main goal is to improve interaction by reducing error rates and improving targeting times. A number of novel haptic assistive techniques are presented that utilise the three degrees-of-freedom (3DOF) capabilities of modern haptic devices to produce assistance that is designed specifically for motion-impaired computer users. To evaluate the effectiveness of the new techniques a series of point-and-click experiments were undertaken in parallel with cursor analysis to compare the levels of performance. The task required the operator to produce a predefined sentence on the densely populated Windows on-screen keyboard (OSK). The results of the study prove that higher performance levels can be achieved using techniques that are less constricting than traditional assistance.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available