Because vital information can be missed by Soldiers in combat environments that tax the eyes and the ears, it is imperative that alternative techniques be investigated to determine their potential in relaying this information in an effective way. This research investigated the use of a tactile display for providing distance and azimuth information about enemy targets. In a series of three experiments, participants were asked to engage enemy targets while utilizing cues that provided location information. In Experiment 1, two tactile cueing techniques (i.e., varying intensity and varying pulse rate) and three auditory cueing techniques (i.e., non-spatial speech, varying frequency of 3-D tones, and varying pulse rate of 3-D tones) were used to provide distance and azimuth information about enemy targets. Findings indicated that more participants preferred the tactile pulse cue and the non-spatial speech cue. There were no significant differences in performance among the tactile and the auditory cues, respectively. However, both the tactile cue types resulted in better performance and lower mental workload than the three auditory cue types. In Experiment 2, performance was investigated among the preferred tactile pulse cue and the non-spatial speech cue as well as a tactile direction only cue (i.e., no distance information), a visual cue, and a no cueing control. Findings indicated that both the tactile cue types resulted in better performance and lower mental workload than the other cue conditions. Experiment 3, was a multimodal investigation in which performance was investigated among combinations of the non-spatial speech, visual, and tactile pulse cues employed in Experiment 2. Findings indicated that cue combinations that included the tactile pulse cue resulted in better performance and lower mental workload than the cue combination without the tactile pulse cue. Overall, the findings support the notion of employing tactile displays as a communication means to provide azimuth and distance information to Soldiers about enemy targets, either as a unimodal cue or in concert with other cue types.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Human Factors Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
White, Timothy, "The Effects of Tactile Displays on the Perception of Target Distance" (2016). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5206.