At warfighter request, research was conducted to determine the military utility of eye tracking (ET) as a human machine interface (HMI) for large area displays (LADs) in a tactical live-flight environment. Flight test determined ET felt effortless until rapidly changing lighting conditions and pupil sizes as well as elevated gravitational load factor induced ET slippage rendered the requested interface unusable. In the spirit of, “the customer is always right,” researchers proved the warfighter ultimately wise in her request for a novel LAD HMI by testing a head tracking algorithm, called “Rhino Pointing (RP)”, alongside ET. RP was simpler to implement and offered improved accuracy and decreased task completion times. Though not as effortless as ET from a physical workload standpoint, evaluation of the RP concept during flight test demonstrated significant improvements over traditional touchscreen LAD HMIs and offered the warfighter a superior alternative to ET in most measures of performance.
& Havig, P.
(2021). The Customer Is Always Right… Towards Rhino Pointing and Eye Tracking Interfaces for Combat Aviators. 48th International Symposium on Aviation Psychology, 86-91.