Multimodal Interaction for Enhancing Team Coordination on the Battlefield
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Team coordination is vital to the success of team missions. On the battlefield and in other hazardous environments, mission outcomes are often very unpredictable because of unforeseen circumstances and complications encountered that adversely affect team coordination. In addition, the battlefield is constantly evolving as new technology, such as context-aware systems and unmanned drones, becomes available to assist teams in coordinating team efforts. As a result, we must re-evaluate the dynamics of teams that operate in high-stress, hazardous environments in order to learn how to use technology to enhance team coordination within this new context. In dangerous environments where multi-tasking is critical for the safety and success of the team operation, it is important to know what forms of interaction are most conducive to team tasks. We have explored interaction methods, including various types of user input and data feedback mediums that can assist teams in performing unified tasks on the battlefield. We’ve conducted an ethnographic analysis of Soldiers and researched technologies such as sketch recognition, physiological data classification, augmented reality, and haptics to come up with a set of core principles to be used when de- signing technological tools for these teams. This dissertation provides support for these principles and addresses outstanding problems of team connectivity, mobility, cognitive load, team awareness, and hands-free interaction in mobile military applications. This research has resulted in the development of a multimodal solution that enhances team coordination by allowing users to synchronize their tasks while keeping an overall awareness of team status and their environment. The set of solutions we’ve developed utilizes optimal interaction techniques implemented and evaluated in related projects; the ultimate goal of this research is to learn how to use technology to provide total situational awareness and team connectivity on the battlefield. This information can be used to aid the research and development of technological solutions for teams that operate in hazardous environments as more advanced resources become available.
Cummings, Danielle (2013). Multimodal Interaction for Enhancing Team Coordination on the Battlefield. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from