CSSE Seminar Series

Empirical Characterization of Human Proprioceptive Target Acquisition Capabilities for In-vehicle Touchscreens


Sarmad Soomro


University of Canterbury

Time & Place

Mon, 09 Nov 2020 15:00:00 NZDT in E16 - Engineering Core


Touchscreens are commonly used in modern vehicles to provide access to a wide range of utility functions, such as media player, air conditioning control, etc. However, touchscreens are attention-demanding. The attention required to use a touchscreen while driving can raise critical safety concerns; drivers may lose control while using the touchscreen and may end up in an accident. Several researchers have proposed new feedback techniques to reduce the touchscreen's attention, such as vibrotactile, secondary displays, ultrahaptics, and physical augmentation. Some of the prior studies failed to reduce attentional demands, and some need more work to be practical. Instead of proposing a new feedback technique, we aim to modify the existing graphical user interface of a touchscreen, reducing attentional demands and could be used as eyes-free while driving. In this paper, we investigated the human proprioceptive capabilities of target acquisition for in-vehicle touchscreen. We conducted an experimental study in which subjects selected a cue of targets on a touchscreen; targets were placed at different distances from the body. The results suggest that the target acquisition precision declines with distance and with parallel activity (e.g., driving). This paper provides an empirical characterization of human capabilities for eyes-free touchscreen proprioceptive target acquisition. Based on our recommendations, new in-vehicle touchscreen user interfaces could be developed to reduce attentional demands and enable eyes-free interaction while driving.


Sarmad is a third-year PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Andy Cockburn. His research interest is working on touchscreens interface design and evaluation to provide a rich experience to end-users.