An Evaluation of Signal Annoyance for a Head-Mounted Tactile Display

Report No. ARL-TR-7239
Authors: Kimberly Myles; Joel T Kalb
Date/Pages: March 2015; 18 pages
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate perceived annoyance for vibrotactile signals applied to the head. A head-mounted tactile display, integrated with a bone conduction system (dual-use, tactile-bone conduction communication system), is considered for military applications, but previous studies have reported unfavorable user reviews for vibrotactile signals applied to the head. Vibrotactile signals from 32 to 250 Hz were sent to the foreheads of 30 participants who rated the perceived annoyance of each signal. Higher frequency signals were rated more annoying than lower frequency signals. Consequently, higher frequency signals will most likely not be preferred on the head and generally may be associated with annoyance and other feelings of unsettledness. We are not advocating that higher signal frequencies should never be used on the head, because there are times when they may be appropriate, especially for various military applications. However, we must be systematic in how we use them to maintain user acceptance.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: March 1, 2015