Input Device Investigation for Future Dismounted Soldier Computer Systems


  1. Bos, J.C.
  2. Tack, D.W.
Corporate Authors
Defence R&D Canada - Toronto, Toronto ONT (CAN);Humansystems Inc, Guelph ONT (CAN)
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the usability of alternative input devices for pointing and text entry (e.g. touchscreen versus Trackpoint; and keyboard alternatives versus speech recognition interfaces). Fourteen regular force infantry Section Commanders participated in the study ranging in age from 23 to 43 years (mean = 33.4, sd = 5). Section Commanders were required to participate in one week of laboratory testing to become familiar with the text entry and pointing input device alternatives. During the following two weeks they were required to carry out simulated platoon attacks on 2km routes at Ft. Benning, Georgia using digital maps in two different input device modalities: touchscreen with mini keyboard and Trackpoint with software keyboard. Three different mission plans were used (i.e. a different route for each modality) to minimize the learning effects of previous missions. Pointing performance was evaluated using computer-based tests that measured cursor steering accuracy, the ability to click targets, and the ability to alternate between targets. Performance measures included steering errors, target errors, and time. Text entry performance was evaluated by recording the accuracy and time required for entering a standard paragraph. Soldiers also completed a NASA TLX scale to assess how much workload they experienced. Mission and exit questionnaires were used to collect subjective information following the platoon attacks consisting of 7-point scales for a

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Soldier Information Requirements Technology Demonstration Project;SIREQ TD;input devices;data entry;mission planning;digital map;speech recognition;touch screen;keyboard;track point;usability
Report Number
DRDC-TORONTO-CR-2005-052 — Contractor Report
Date of publication
01 May 2005
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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