Follow the vibes: a comparison between two tactile displays in a navigation task in the field

Orso, Valeria and Gamberini, Luciano and Mazza, Renato and Hsieh, Yi-Ta and Jensen, Walter and Jacucci, Guilio and Morrison, Ann (2016) Follow the vibes: a comparison between two tactile displays in a navigation task in the field. PsychNology Journal, 14 (1). pp. 61-79.


Navigational systems guide users providing visual and acoustic indications, burdening user’s attention. On the one hand, following visual guidance is challenging because of the constant need to switch the gaze between the display and the surroundings. On the other hand, auditory indications can be obtrusive and inefficient. Tactile displays, i.e., systems that send stimuli via the tactile channel, can overcome such limitations. They are useful when the visual and auditory attention is limited and they can deliver precise spatial information in an unobtrusive manner all around the user. Navigational systems deploying tactile guidance have been experimented with different devices (e.g., hand-held devices, belts, armband and wristband). Here we compared a tactile vest and a tactile glove in guiding users through an itinerary in an urban setting. Twenty-four people (9 males) participated in the study (mean age 24.37, SD= 2.24). Our findings show that the both devices are efficient as navigation tool. Despite both devices were well-received by users, their appearance was relevant. The vest was in fact praised for the clearness of the indications, while the glove was preferred for being unbulky and light-weighted.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2017 02:43
Last Modified: 05 May 2021 05:04
Uncontrolled Keywords: tactile interfaces, urban navigation, wearable technology
Fields of Research (2008): 08 Information and Computing Sciences > 0806 Information Systems > 080602 Computer-Human Interaction
Fields of Research (2020): 46 INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES > 4608 Human-centred computing > 460806 Human-computer interaction
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970110 Expanding Knowledge in Technology

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