SlideBar: Analysis of a linear input device

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2003-06-04

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The SlideBar is a physical linear input device for absolute position control of one degree of freedom, consisting of a physical slider with a graspable knob positioned near or attached to the keyboard. Its range of motion is directly mapped to a one dimensional input widget such as a scrollbar. The SlideBar provides absolute position control in one dimension, is usable in the non-dominant hand in conjunction with a pointing device, and offers constrained passive haptic feedback. These characteristics make the device appropriate for the common class of tasks characterized by one-dimensional input and constrained range of operation. An empirical study of three devices (SlideBar, mouse
controlled scrollbar, and mousewheel) shows that for common scrolling tasks, the SlideBar has a significant advantage over a standard mouse controlled scrollbar in both speed and user preference and an advantage over the mousewheel in user reference. Keywords: : two-handed input, absolute, scrolling mechanisms, input devices, passive constrained haptic feedback (UMIACS-TR-2003-41) (HCIL-2003-15)

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