Improving Human–Computer Interface Design through Application of Basic Research on Audiovisual Integration and Amplitude Envelope
Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada
School of the Arts, McMaster University, Hamilton, ON L8S 4L8, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Multimodal Technol. Interact. 2019, 3(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti3010004
Received: 20 December 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 18 January 2019 / Published: 22 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multimodal Medical Alarms)
Quality care for patients requires effective communication amongst medical teams. Increasingly, communication is required not only between team members themselves, but between members and the medical devices monitoring and managing patient well-being. Most human–computer interfaces use either auditory or visual displays, and despite significant experimentation, they still elicit well-documented concerns. Curiously, few interfaces explore the benefits of multimodal communication, despite extensive documentation of the brain’s sensitivity to multimodal signals. New approaches built on insights from basic audiovisual integration research hold the potential to improve future human–computer interfaces. In particular, recent discoveries regarding the acoustic property of amplitude envelope illustrate that it can enhance audiovisual integration while also lowering annoyance. Here, we share key insights from recent research with the potential to inform applications related to human–computer interface design. Ultimately, this could lead to a cost-effective way to improve communication in medical contexts—with signification implications for both human health and the burgeoning medical device industry.