On the Limits of the Human Motor Control Precision: The Search for a Device’s Human Resolution

  • François Bérard
  • Guangyu Wang
  • Jeremy R. Cooperstock
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 6947)

Abstract

Input devices are often evaluated in terms of their throughput, as measured by Fitts’ Law, and by their resolution. However, little effort has been made to understand the limit of resolution that is controllable or “usable” by the human using the device. What is the point of a 5000 dpi computer mouse if the human motor control system is far from being able to achieve this level of precision? This paper introduces the concept of a Device’s Human Resolution (DHR): the smallest target size that users can acquire with an ordinary amount of effort using one particular device. We report on our attempt to find the DHR through a target acquisition experiment involving very small target sizes. Three devices were tested: a gaming mouse (5700 dpi), a PHANTOM (450 dpi), and a free-space device (85 dpi). The results indicate a decrease in target acquisition performance that is not predicted by Fitts’ Law when target sizes become smaller than certain levels. In addition, the experiment shows that the actual achievable resolution varies greatly depending on the input device used, hence the need to include the “device” in the definition of DHR.

Keywords

input device target acquisition accuracy device’s human resolution resolution 

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Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • François Bérard
    • 1
  • Guangyu Wang
    • 2
  • Jeremy R. Cooperstock
    • 2
  1. 1.LIG, Grenoble-INPUniversity of GrenobleGrenoble cedex 9France
  2. 2.Centre for Intelligent MachinesMcGill UniversityMontréalCanada

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