Nowadays, operation and ergonomic aspects play a major role in the interaction between man and machine. Intuitive user interfaces become important both in the presentation of information as well as in the user input. Due to the ever increasing technological capabilities, the complexity of the user interface necessary to operate rises steadily.
The program “IKT 2020 – Research for Innovation” has to lay the foundation for innovation in knowledge engineering and communication technology. This will be achieved, among other things, in order to improve security and usability. Dielectric elastomer actuators offer the opportunity to realize new operational concepts that combine the intuitively used classical touch buttons with the flexibility of modern touch screens. Therefore, this project deals, on the one hand, with the further development of manufacturing processes for large area tactile displays. On the other hand, test people contribute to the creation of a catalog containing design guidelines for the ergonomic design of such operating concepts.
As a result, the new operating concepts provide the ability to realize new kinds of man-machine communication. This can open up new (information) technologies to large parts of the demographic-changing society and provide more security in the machine operation (automobile, heavy equipment, etc.) as well.
Three institutes of the Technical University of Darmstadt are involved in the project “DETouch”: