Browse Prior Art Database

The Human Factor in Computers

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000039560D
Original Publication Date: 1987-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-01
Document File: 3 page(s) / 54K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Work, NF: AUTHOR

Abstract

An interactive computer workstation is disclosed. The workstation includes one or more biofeedback inputs for unobtrusively detecting changes in the operator's level of stress or frustration while using the workstation. An adaptive application program is also described. The program responds to a detected level change to modify the program responses so as to reduce the operator's level of frustration. One form of modified response is to provide manual assistance to the workstation operator from a central location. The biofeedback inputs can be any of a number of known input devices including galvanic skin measurements at the fingertips, force transducers under the keyboard to measure key depression force and other equivalent devices.

This text was extracted from a PDF file.
At least one non-text object (such as an image or picture) has been suppressed.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 46% of the total text.

Page 1 of 3

The Human Factor in Computers

An interactive computer workstation is disclosed. The workstation includes one or more biofeedback inputs for unobtrusively detecting changes in the operator's level of stress or frustration while using the workstation. An adaptive application program is also described. The program responds to a detected level change to modify the program responses so as to reduce the operator's level of frustration. One form of modified response is to provide manual assistance to the workstation operator from a central location. The biofeedback inputs can be any of a number of known input devices including galvanic skin measurements at the fingertips, force transducers under the keyboard to measure key depression force and other equivalent devices. When designing a user-friendly interactive application program, the programmer has limited means by which the program can receive communication from the program user. For this reason the ability of the programmer to write an interactive program which most efficiently interacts with the user to accomplish the user's purposes is somewhat limited. The computer workstation of this disclosure adds to the flexibility available to the programmer by providing for subliminal biofeedback inputs to an application program. Like all interactive workstations, the computer workstation has a keyboard 11 and a cathode ray tube display 15 driven by a workstation computer
17. The keyboard has a number of often used keys, such as the space bar and enter key, which contain biofeedback sensors. Each of these keys provides two outputs, the first being a normal key depression output 1, 2 and the second being an analog biofeedback output 3, 4. By way of example, the biofeedback output 3 is gated into analog- to-digital converter 19 by the normal key depressed output
1. Likewise, the analog biofeedback output 4 is gated into analog-to-digital converter 19 by the key depressed signal on output line 2. After conversion to a digital number, the biofeedback output is stored in a current level register 21. When the next biofeedback monitoring key is depressed, the value in the current level register is transferred to the last level register 23 and the new biofeedback level is stored in the current level register 21. Likewise, at each biofeedback key depression, an output from the last level register 23 is processed by a calculating process 25 into an average value and stored in the average level register 27. In this way values are stored from which a change in the feelings of the operator toward the computer workstation can be inferred. The values in the average level register 27 and last level register 23 are used to determine changes in level of the biofeedback signal which may be representative of the level of stress or frustration being experienced by the workstation operator. In order to find the level of change, the contents of the last level register 23 is subtracted from the content of the curre...