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Validation of principles for tactile navigation displays

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Author: Erp, J.B.F. van · Werkhoven, P.J.
Institution: TNO Defensie en Veiligheid
Source:50th Annual Meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, HFES 2006, 16 October 2006 through 20 October 2006, San Francisco, CA, 1687-1691
Identifier: 16559
Keywords: Perception · Military · Information overload · Collision avoidance · Control systems · Display devices · Global positioning system · Information analysis · Navigation · Collision avoidance systems · Navigation displays · Safety enhancement · Vibrating elements · Haptic interfaces


Access to navigation information rapidly becomes standard in many situations, for example through GPS receivers and collision avoidance systems in cars. However, perceiving and processing the information may result in overloading the userÆs visual sense and cognitive resources. Intuitive navigation information presentation concepts using the sense of touch are claimed to be a solution to both threats. Employing the sense of touch can reduce the visual load, and the proverbial 'tap-on-the-shoulder' may sheer automatically evoke the correct (control) behavior. This recently resulted in the development of car seats with vibrating elements, belts with vibrators for soldiers, tactile vests for pilots, and many similar displays. This paper presents a model for human behavior in platform navigation and control called prenav. Prenav allows discussing issues such as the accuracy of spatial information displays, effects on workload, and effects of external stressors. Prenav guided the validation studies we conducted in the last decade. Based on these studies, we concluded that tactile torso displays can potentially provide a major workload reduction and safety enhancement in platform control.