The Attentional Perspective on Smart Devices: Empirical Evidence for Device-Specific Cognitive Ergonomics

Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 777)


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.


Human 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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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human FactorsDortmundGermany

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