Design considerations for a wearable, bi-modal interface.
Thesis DisciplineHuman Interface Technology
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
The design of wearable interfaces that mediate interactions between people and the real world requires us to examine these interactions from the perspective of the users. The quality of these interactions is determined by how designers choose to implement the exchange of information that occurs between the user and the interface. Design considerations that have informed the development of existing interaction techniques in wearable interfaces have been examined in this thesis, and alternate methods proposed based on these investigations. We hypothesized that a bi-modal (auditory and visual) form of information delivery supported by contextual awareness should deliver a more natural form of interaction by leveraging the strengths of the visual and auditory senses.
This thesis tests this hypothesis and presents empirical results from five studies that look at how audio-visual feedback mechanisms can be incorporated into a wearable interface for effective information presentation. Results from these experiments demonstrate that this form of information delivery is a viable alternative to current wearable interfaces. The use of a bone conduction headset in conjunction with a traditional wearable visual interface was shown to be effective at mediating interactions with the real world provided the user is presented with well-designed auditory and visual cues.
The application-based studies in this thesis demonstrate that it is possible to have an unobtrusive interface capable of presenting the user with information which is both informative and intuitive in nature. An audio-visual information delivery design that does not prioritise one faculty over the other was shown to be effective at decreasing time on task, hence improving user efficiency.
This thesis also summarises limitations of the current work and identifies areas for future work, such as contextually aware wearable interfaces that incorporate computer-vision and bio-feedback. An argument for future wearable interfaces to incorporate audition and vision based Augmented Reality features is also made. In addition to this, a case for testing these interfaces in a real-world environment to assess their usability and durability is also presented.