Accession Number:



Design of a Multi-Touch Tabletop for Simulation-Based Training

Descriptive Note:

Conference paper

Corporate Author:


Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



The Canadian Army relies heavily on simulation-supported command and staff training exercises. Small groups of retired officers, called interactors, orchestrate the exercise behind the scenes using computer-based simulation tools to emulate troop actions in the field. The officers being trained work in a simulated headquarters, and contact the interactors by radio, chat or telephone. The quality of the training experience highly depends on the ability of interactors to perform a realistic and educationally beneficial scenario. Modern simulation tools provide deep and rich functionality, but at the cost of complex user interfaces that interactors find difficult to learn and to use. Since each interactor sits at a separate computer, the design of the simulation room is a hindrance to collaborative tasks such as planning or coordinated maneuvers. In this paper, we present OrMiS, a tabletop-based simulation interface that provides interactors with an efficient and usable way to collaborate while simulating the actions of military units. We emphasize how field observations and feedback from experts helped us identify key features of OrMiS to support individual and collaborative activities. Finally, we report on results from a usability study, which demonstrates how its features can ease interactors work to provide the best training experience.

Subject Categories:

  • Computer Programming and Software
  • Computer Hardware
  • Military Forces and Organizations

Distribution Statement: