A joint endeavour between the University of Southampton and GE Aviation, “Future technology on the flight deck: assessing the use of touchscreens in vibration environments” has been published in the academic journal, Ergonomics, and is available online.

Please find the abstract below and if interested, visit www.hfesoton.com to contact a member of the team for a copy of the paper.

Use of touchscreens in the flight deck has been steadily increasing, however, their usability may be severely impacted when turbulent conditions arise. Most previous research focuses on using touchscreens in static conditions; therefore, this study assessed touchscreen use whilst undergoing turbulent representative motion, generated using a 6-axis motion simulator. Touchscreens were tested in centre, side and overhead positions, to investigate how turbulence affected: (1) error rate, movement times and accuracy, (2) arm fatigue and discomfort. Two touchscreen technologies were compared: a 15” infra-red and a 17.3” projected capacitive touchscreen with force sensing capability. The potential of the force sensing capability to minimise unintentional interactions was also investigated. Twenty-six participants undertook multi-direction tapping (ISO 9241; ISO, 2010) and gesture tasks, under four vibration conditions (control, light chop, light turbulence and moderate turbulence). Error rate, movement time and workload increased and usability decreased significantly, with screen position and increasing turbulence level.