Investigating Multimodal Displays: Reaction Times to Visual and Tactile Modality Stimuli
Sometimes pilots, drivers and other professional operators have to perceive and process plenty of information in visual modality simultaneously. However, excessive information may lead to distraction, confusion, and may result in overloading the user’s visual sense and cognitive resources. To reduce these overload threats, the sense of touch was employed as a new information presentation scheme.
Both of the visual and tactile channels have their own merits and defects. In this paper, we focused on the reaction time to the visual and tactile modality stimuli. Our reaction time tasks are simple and four-choice tasks. In the visual stimuli tests, once the visual mode of a word about direction was shown, the participants pressed the corresponding arrow key with their fingers as soon as possible. In the tactile stimuli tests, the stimuli were produced through vibrators that were worn on the participants’ waist or legs. Once the participants detected a vibration, they pressed the corresponding arrow key with their fingers as quickly as possible. We analyzed the influence of gender, time spent on computer, left/right finger, and tactile location on reaction time. The accuracy of each test was calculated.
The findings of this study provide a useful reference for engineers and designers to realize how the visual and tactile modality channels could impact the operators, and to determine the most effective modality or combination of modalities for presenting time sensitive information. Besides, the solution will be consultative for the design of tactile navigation system for visually-impaired.
KeywordsReaction time Tactile Stimuli Visual Stimuli Vibrator
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