A Multi-Touch Enabled Steering Wheel - Exploring the Design Space

Max Peiffer; Dagmar Kern; Johannes Schöning; Tanja Döring; Antonio Krüger; Albrecht Schmidt
In: Adjunct Proceedings of the 27th International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM International Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI-2010), April 10-15, Atlanta, GA, USA, ACM, 2010.


Cars offer an increasing number of infotainment systems as well as comfort functions that can be controlled by the driver. With our research we investigate new interaction techniques that aim to make it easier to interact with these systems while driving. In contrast to the standard approach of combining all functions into hierarchical menus controlled by a multifunctional controller or a touch screen we suggest to utilize the space on the steering wheel as additional interaction surface. In this paper we show the design challenges that arise for multi-touch interaction on a steering wheel. In particular we investigate how to deal with input and output while driving and hence rotating the wheel. We describe the details of a functional prototype of a multi-touch steering wheel that is based on FTIR and a projector, which was built to explore experimentally the user experience created. In an initial study with 12 participants we show that the approach has a general utility and that people can use gestures for controlling applications intuitively but have difficulties to imagine gestures to select applications.

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