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Contact: Lee J. Siegel
University of Utah

Close-up of Fingertip Navigation Device

Caption: This is a close-up of a touch-based driving navigation device attached to the steering wheel of a driving simulator. The red button -- a TrackPoint computer mouse taken from an old IBM ThinkPad -- moves left or right to stretch the driver's index fingertip skin in the direction the driver should turn. The index finger is retracted from its normal position so the button can be seen. A University of Utah study found that navigation information can be delivered to drivers just as accurately through the fingertips as through the ears, although if a driver also is talking on a cell phone, they follow touch-based turning instructions more accurately than voice instructions.

Credit: William Provancher, University of Utah.

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Related news release: Let your fingers do the driving

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