FAA Human Ergonomics for Handheld Devices

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DOT/FAA/CT- 05/15Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 08405

Human Factors Guidance for the Use of Handheld, Portable, and Wearable Computing DevicesCarolina Zingale, Ph.D., L-3 Communications, Titan Corporation Vicki Ahlstrom, ATO-P Bonnie Kudrick, L-3 Communications, Titan Corporation

November 2005

Technical Report

This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Springfield, Virginia 22161. A copy is retained for reference by the William J. Hughes Technical Center IRC.

U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration

NOTICE This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The United States Government assumes no liability for the contents or use thereof. The United States Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturer's names appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the objective of this report. This document does not constitute FAA certification policy. Consult your local FAA aircraft certification office as to its use. This report is available at the Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Centers full-text technical reports web site: http://actlibrary.tc.faa.gov in Adobe Acrobat portable document format (PDF) and at the National Airspace System Human Factors Group website: http://hf.tc.faa.gov/.

Technical Report Documentation Page1. Report No. 2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipients Catalog No.

DOT/FAA/CT-05/154. Title and Subtitle 5. Report Date

Human Factors Guidance for the Use of Handheld, Portable, and Wearable Computing Devices

November 20056. Performing Organization Code

ATO-P7. Author(s) 8. Performing Organization Report No.

Carolina Zingale,Ph.D., L-3 Communications, Titan Corporation, Vicki Ahlstrom, ATO-P, and Bonnie Kudrick, L-3 Communications, Titan Corporation9. Performing Organization Name and Address

DOT/FAA/CT-05/1510. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

Federal Aviation Administration William J. Hughes Technical Center NAS Human Factors Group, Bldg 28 Atlantic City International Airport, NJ 0840512. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

11. Contract or Grant No.

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

Federal Aviation Administration Human Factors Division 800 Independence Ave, S.W. Washington, DC 2059115. Supplementary Notes 16. Abstract

Technical Report14. Sponsoring agency code

ATO-P

This report provides human factors guidance for the selection and use of handheld, portable, and wearable computing devices, including personal digital assistants (PDAs), tablet computers, and, to a more limited extent, head-mounted display systems. These devices are becoming more common in the workplace. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) wanted to know if these devices would be beneficial to maintenance specialists. Human factors researchers from the William J. Hughes Technical Center were asked to identify the advantages and disadvantages of these devices. These systems require different usage guidelines than standard desktop computing systems because of their size, portability, human-computer interface (HCI) designs, and intended work environments. In this report, we discuss differences between different maintenance tasks and how these differences may affect the selection of an appropriate device. We summarize the advantages and disadvantages of common handheld, portable, and wearable systems, specifically focusing on areas such as device size, screen size and resolution, input method, one- or two-handed operation, and headsdown time.

17. Key Words

18. Distribution Statement

Handheld devices Human Factors Maintenance Wearable computing devices19. Security Classif. (of this report) 20. Security Classif. (of this page)

This document is available to the public through the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia, 22161.21. No. of Pages 22. Price

Unclassified Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)

Unclassified Reproduction of completed page authorized

31

Table of Contents Page Executive Summary ........................................................................................................................ v 1. Introduction................................................................................................................................. 1 2. Background ................................................................................................................................. 1 2.1 User Needs and Goals........................................................................................................... 1 2.1.1 Maintenance Specialists................................................................................................. 1 2.1.2 User Constraints............................................................................................................. 2 2.1.3 Task and Environmental Constraints ............................................................................. 3 2.2 Uses of Handheld, Portable, and Wearable Devices in Aviation ......................................... 3 3. General Human Factors Considerations for Handheld, Portable, and Wearable Computers ..... 4 3.1 Size and Weight .................................................................................................................... 5 3.2 Computer-Human Interface .................................................................................................. 5 3.3 Environmental Conditions .................................................................................................... 5 3.4 Ruggedness and Durability................................................................................................... 5 3.5 Physical Manner of Use........................................................................................................ 6 4. General Ergonomic Guidelines for Handheld, Portable, and Wearable Devices ....................... 6 5. Issues and Guidelines for Handheld, Portable, and Wearable Computers ................................. 8 5.1 PDAs..................................................................................................................................... 8 5.1.1 Size................................................................................................................................. 8 5.1.2 Input Method.................................................................................................................. 8 5.1.3 Display ........................................................................................................................... 9 5.1.4 Advantages..................................................................................................................... 9 5.1.5 Disadvantages ................................................................................................................ 9 5.2 Smart Phones ...................................................................................................................... 11 5.2.1 Size............................................................................................................................... 11 5.2.2 Input Method................................................................................................................ 11 5.2.3 Display ......................................................................................................................... 12 5.2.4 Advantages................................................................................................................... 12 5.2.5 Disadvantages .............................................................................................................. 12 5.3 BlackBerrys ...................................................................................................................... 12 5.3.1 Size............................................................................................................................... 12 5.3.2 Input Method................................................................................................................ 12 5.3.3 Display ......................................................................................................................... 12 5.3.4 Advantages................................................................................................................... 13 5.3.5 Disadvantages .............................................................................................................. 13 5.4 Tablet Computers................................................................................................................ 13 5.4.1 Size............................................................................................................................... 13 5.4.2 Input Method................................................................................................................ 13 5.4.3 Display ......................................................................................................................... 15 5.4.4 Advantages................................................................................................................... 15 5.4.5 Disadvantages .............................................................................................................. 15 5.5 Wearable Devices ............................................................................................................... 15 6. Summary and Recommendations ............................................................................................. 17 iii

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