A meta-analysis of vibrotactile and visual information displays for improving task performance

Matthew S. Prewett, Linda R. Elliott, Ashley G. Walvoord, Michael D. Coovert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Many studies have investigated the effect of vibrotactile cues on task performance, but a wide range of cue and task types have made findings difficult to interpret without a quantitative synthesis. This report addresses that need by reviewing the effectiveness of vibrotactile cues in a meta-analysis of 45 studies. When added to a baseline task or to existing visual cues, vibrotactile cues enhanced task performance. When vibrotactile cues replaced visual cues; however, some effects were attenuated and others moderated by cue information complexity. To summarize such moderating effects, vibrotactile alerts are an effective replacement for visual alerts, but vibrotactile direction cues are not effective when replacing visual direction cues. This meta-analysis of vibrotactile applications underscores the benefits of vibrotactile and multimodal displays, highlights conditions in which vibrotactile cues are particularly effective, and identifies areas in need of further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5710431
Pages (from-to)123-132
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics Part C: Applications and Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012


  • Load management
  • multimodal sensors
  • performance evaluation
  • tactile sensors


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