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Thermal feedback identification in a mobile environment

Wilson, Graham and Brewster, Stephen and Halvey, Martin and Hughes, Stephen (2013) Thermal feedback identification in a mobile environment. In: Haptic and Audio Interface Design. Lecture Notes in Computer Science . Springer Berlin/Heidelberg, Heidelberg, pp. 10-19. ISBN 9783642410673

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Abstract

Audio and vibrotactile feedback are not always suitable or desirable, as noise and/or movement may mask them, and so thermal feedback may provide a salient alternative. In this paper, the identification of 'thermal icons' (structured thermal feedback) was tested as a means of conveying information when users were sitting and walking in an outdoor location. Overall identification rate for thermal icons was 64.6%, but identification of individual parameters was promising, at 94% accuracy for direction of thermal change (warming/cooling) and 73.1% accuracy for subjective intensity (moderate/strong). Results showed that walking outdoors did not significantly worsen icon identification compared to sitting outdoors, but the environmental temperature had a strong influence. Recommendations are given on how better to design and adapt thermal feedback for use in outdoor mobile scenarios.