Project: in-vehicle Auditory Interface

We looked at how an in-Vehicle Auditory User Interface can improve the safety of drivers. Therefore we built a very simple graphical interface and compared it to a spatial auditory interface. They both had the same functionality: the user could navigate a hierarchical mobile phone menu (we used a stripped down menu from the Nokia S60 Series) and access typical items like contacts, music player, text messaging, etc. The visual interface was built to be displayed on on-board screens like being used in navigation systems while the auditory interface was spatially spread out using a 7.1 speaker system (resembling the on-board speaker system).

To evaluate the performance of both interfaces we asked participants go for a drive in a car simulator (this was a very popular user study in our lab).

We disassembled a computer mouse and attached it to the steering wheel to allow users to manipulate the interfaces without taking their hands of the steering wheel.

They could "click left" to select an item or go down in the hierarchy or they could "click right" to go up again. By using the scrolling wheel they could cycle through the items currently displayed.

Related Publications

Sodnik, J., Dicke, C., Tomazie, S. and Billinghurst, M. A user study of auditory versus visual interfaces for use while driving Int. J. Human-Computer Studies, 66. 318–332. download

Sodnik, J., Tomazie, S., Dicke, C. and Billinghurst, M., Spatial auditory interface for an embedded communication device in a car. in ACHI 2008, (2008), IEEE Computer Society, pp. 69-76 (best paper award). download

Dicke, C., Sodnik, J. and Billinghurst, M., Spatial Auditory Interfaces Compared to Visual Interfaces for Mobile Use in a Driving Task. in Ninth International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems (ICEIS), June 12-16, 2007, (Funchal, Madeira, Portugal, 2007), 282-285. download

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