Air Gestures in the Vehicle

Bruce Walker
Keenan May, Thomas Gable, Shawn Wu, Ruta Sardesai

Modern sensor technology is beginning to allow for cost-effective deployment of air gesture interfaces in the vehicle. Unlike the current standard of direct touch, air gesture interfaces do not require that the driver takes their eyes off the road, especially when coupled with properly applied auditory or tactile feedback.

While emerging systems like Apple Carplay and Android Auto support limited speech commands, the majority of tasks still require visually targeted touch interaction, which poses a safety hazard to drivers.

Research in the Sonification Lab centers on developing guidelines for automotive interface designers on how to create air gesture interfaces which provide minimal cognitive, motor and visual demand to drivers. We combine user-centered HCI design with comprehensive engineering psychology evaluation using eye tracking, physiological measures, performance measures and subjective measures to take a data-driven approach to air gesture systems in the vehicle.

Bruce N. Walker

The Georgia Tech Sonification Lab is an interdisciplinary research group based in the School of Psychology and theSchool of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech. Under the direction of Prof. Bruce Walker, the Sonification Lab focuses on the development and evaluation of auditory and multimodal interfaces, and the cognitive, psychophysical and practical aspects of auditory displays, paying particular attention to sonification. Special consideration is paid to Human Factors in the display of information in "complex task environments," such as the human-computer interfaces in cockpits, nuclear powerplants, in-vehicle infotainment displays, and in the space program.

[Random Image of Auditory Interface] Since we specialize in multimodal and auditory interfaces, we often work with people who cannot look at, or cannot see, traditional visual displays. This means we work on a lot of assistive technologies, especially for people with vision impairments. We study ways to enhance wayfinding and mobility, math and science education, entertainment, art, music, and participation in informal learning environments like zoos and aquariums.

The Lab includes students and researchers from all backgrounds, including psychology, computing, HCI, music, engineering, and architecture. Our research projects are collaborative efforts, often including empirical (lab) studies, software and hardware development, field studies, usabilty investigations, and focus group studies.