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Investigation of force, contact area and dwell time in finger-tapping tasks on membrane touch interface

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This study aimed to determine the touch characteristics during tapping tasks on membrane touch interface and investigate the effects of posture and gender on touch characteristics variables. One hundred participants tapped digits displayed on a membrane touch interface on sitting and standing positions using all fingers of the dominant hand. Touch characteristics measures included average force, contact area and dwell time. Across fingers and postures, males exerted larger force and contact area than females, but similar dwell time. Across genders and postures, thumb exerted the largest force and the force of the other four fingers showed no significant difference. The contact area of the thumb was the largest, whereas that of the little finger was the smallest; the dwell time of the thumb was the longest, whereas that of the middle finger was the shortest. Relationships among finger sizes, gender, posture and touch characteristics were proposed. The findings helped direct membrane touch interface design for digital and numerical control products from hardware and software perspectives.

Practitioner Summary: This study measured force, contact area and dwell time in tapping tasks on membrane touch interface and examined effects of gender and posture on force, contact area and dwell time. The findings will direct membrane touch interface design for digital and numerical control products from hardware and software perspectives.

Abbreviations: M: mean; SD: standard deviation; ISO: International Organization for Standardization; LCD: liquid crystal display; ANOVA: analysis of variance; ANSI: American National Standards Institute; HFES: Human Factors and Ergonomics Society
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Keywords: Finger tapping; contact area; dwell time; force; touch characteristics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Industrial Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

Publication date: November 2, 2018

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