In this paper we present a 20–participant controlled experiment to evaluate and compare a head–down visual display and a synthesized speech audio display for comprehending text while mobile. Participants completed reading comprehension trials while walking a path and sitting. We examine overall performance and perceived workload for four conditions: audio–walking, audio–sitting, visual–walking, and visual–sitting. Results suggest audio is an acceptable modality for mobile comprehension of text. Participants’ comprehension scores for the audio–walking condition were comparable to the scores for the visual–walking condition. More importantly, participants saw improvements in their ability to navigate the environment when using the audio display.
Reading On-the-Go: A Comparison of Audio and Hand-held Displays. Kristin Vadas, Nirmal Patel, Kent Lyons, Thad Starner, and Julie Jacko. Proceedings of Mobile HCI 2006. Espoo, Finland. September 2006. ACM