Tactile Compass presented at ICMI ’11

This week I had the chance to attend the International Conference on Multimodal Interaction.It took place in Alicante, Spain, which even at this time of the year (mid of November) can be warm and sunny!

I presented the results from a user study of our Tactile Compass. The basic idea of the tactile compass is that vibration patterns tell you, in which direction to go, so you can use it as a navigation system but never have to look at the mobile device.

In this study, we asked 21 participants to follow three routes through the city centre of Oldenburg. In random order they were equipped with the Tactile Compass, a common visual navigation system, or both. In brief, we found that

  • with the visual system the participants walked fastest, which is a sign that the users had to think least
  • with the tactile system the participants were least distracted and paid most attention to the environment
  • with the combination of both systems the participants made least navigation errors.

For the details and our conclusions please refer to the full paper.

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