The Attentional Perspective on Smart Devices: Empirical Evidence for Device-Specific Cognitive Ergonomics
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Digital transformation of work expands in manual labor areas, providing the need to assess cognitive ergonomics of smart devices. Evaluating cognitive workload imposed on the worker and attentional processes are especially relevant. We compared human performance between two smart devices in the context of a simulated order picking task. To this end, we combined a task switching paradigm with a flanker task. Response times, error rates and subjective task load indices were registered. Participants were slower in using smart glasses compared to a headset, however, with smart glasses they were less distraction-prone and more flexible in their responses. The performance differences may be explained by modality-specific transformations from sensory input to manual responses. In sum, results suggest that smart glasses may be more suitable for conveying information in rather complex tasks relying on visual information whereas headsets may be more suitable for simple tasks in uncluttered environments.
KeywordsHuman factors Cognitive ergonomics Smart devices Selective attention
This research was funded by the National Centre of Excellence for Logistics and IT, Dortmund, Germany. We would like to thank Linda Tchuendem for data collection.
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