Abstract

We present experimental work that explores the factors governing symmetric bimanual interaction in a two-handed task that requires the user to track a pair of targets, one target with each hand. A symmetric bimanual task is a twohanded task in which each hand is assigned an identical role. In this context, we explore three main experimental factors. We vary the distance between the pair of targets to track: as the targets become further apart, visual diversion increases, forcing the user to divide attention between the two targets. We also vary the demands of the task by using both a slow and a fast tracking speed. Finally, we explore visual integration of sub-tasks: in one condition, the two targets to track are connected by a line segment which visually links the targets, while in the other condition there is no connecting line. Our results indicate that all three experimental factors affect the degree of parallelism, which we quantify using a new metric of bimanual parallelism. However, differences in tracking error between the two hands are affected only by the visual integration factor.