In pen-tablet input devices modes allow overloading of the electronic stylus. In the case of two modes, switching modes with the non-preferred hand is most effective [12]. Further, allowing temporal overlap of mode switch and pen action boosts speed [11]. We examine the effect of increasing the number of interface modes accessible via non-preferred hand mode switching on task performance in pen-tablet interfaces. We demonstrate that the temporal benefit of overlapping mode-selection and pen action for the two mode case is preserved as the number of modes increases. This benefit is the result of both concurrent action of the hands, and reduced planning time for the overall task. Finally, while allowing bimanual overlap is still faster it takes longer to switch modes as the number of modes increases. Improved understanding of the temporal costs presented assists in the design of pen-tablet interfaces with larger sets of interface modes.

Jaime Ruiz and Edward Lank. 2007. A study on the scalability of non-preferred hand mode manipulation. In Proceedings of the 9th international conference on Multimodal interfaces (ICMI '07). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 170-177.

 author = {Ruiz, Jaime and Lank, Edward},
 title = {A Study on the Scalability of Non-preferred Hand Mode Manipulation},
 booktitle = {Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Multimodal Interfaces},
 series = {ICMI '07},
 year = {2007},
 isbn = {978-1-59593-817-6},
 location = {Nagoya, Aichi, Japan},
 pages = {170--177},
 numpages = {8},
 url = {},
 doi = {10.1145/1322192.1322223},
 acmid = {1322223},
 publisher = {ACM},
 address = {New York, NY, USA},
 keywords = {bimanual interaction, concurrent mode switching, interaction technique, mode, pen interfaces, stylus},