Assessment of Tactile Designs in Support of Wayfinding


  1. Kumagai, J.K.
  2. Hawes, V.L.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
This study examined the utility and usability of presenting wayfinding information using the tactile modality. The tactile designs examined varied in the body location, the complexity of the information presented, and the location of the electronic compass. The experiment was conducted at Fort Benning in Georgia, U.S.A. with sixteen Canadian Forces infantry soldiers. All participants were required to execute the wayfinding task using seven different tactile designs. The results of this trial indicated that not only did the designs for the torso and chest perform better than the neck and wrist designs, but these were also preferred by the soldiers. In terms of the number of tactors, the data showed that the eight-tactor systems were better than three- or two-tactor systems, and were more favoured by the soldiers. Eight-tactors provided a directional cue and an indication of the angular distance to the waypoint. This was identified by participants as an important feature. Based on the results of this experiment, areas for future research were recommended.

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Soldier Information Requirements Technology Demonstration Project;SIREQ TD;Tactile Designs;Wayfinding;tactors;directional cues;haptic display;haptic modality
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2005-021 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 May 2005
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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