ShoulderTap - Pneumatic On-body Cues to Encode Directions

Tim Claudius Stratmann, Shadan Sadeghian Borojeni, Wilko Heuten, Susanne Boll
Extended Abstracts of the 2018 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
A common way to display information via tactile output is to use vibration motors. However, vibration is often perceived as a rather artificial, even unpleasant cue. We explore a novel method based on pneumatic cues to provide a more natural tactile output. We use two airbags positioned at the back of the user, at shoulder height to give navigational cues. We utilize the shoulder tap metaphor to give directions to the left, right or ahead. We compare the pneumatic cue to vibro-tactile cue at the same position. Our Results show, that the pneumatic cue was rated as significantly less urgent than vibro-tactile cue. As there were no significant differences in error rate, annoyance and usability, we rate ShoulderTap as eligible alternative to vibro-tactile cues.
CHI EA '18