Person using kiosk with touchless interaction

Touchless Ticket Machine: Smart, Safe, Fast

Gareth Young, Senior UX Designer, writes about our Touchless Ticket Machine demo. It shows how gesture control creates smart solutions to the challenge of hygiene in transport and ticketing in a post-pandemic world.

In April 2020, Ultraleap surveyed over 500 US and UK consumers on their changing attitudes towards touchscreens. Over 80% of people thought that public touchscreens were unhygienic.

We also asked where people thought were the most important places for touchless interfaces to be installed. Transport stations were the number one choice.

What are the most important locations for touchless interfaces to be installed?

Ultraleap statistics from public attitudes to public touchscreens and touchless technology
Source: Survey of over 500 UK and US consumers conducted by Ultraleap to assess attitudes to public touchscreens and touchless interfaces.

Our Touchless Ticket Machine demo shows how gesture control can be used to create a touchless ticket vending experience as easy and intuitive as using a touchscreen.

Many consumers are reluctant to use mobile app/second screen solutions. Gesture control can be used to create an interaction style similar to the familiar user experience of interacting with a touchscreen – but without the anxiety of touching shared surfaces.

Ultraleap’s Leap Motion Controller or Stereo IR 170 camera modules allow passengers to use a ticket machine interface by simply moving their hand in mid air. Our TouchFree application can be used to retrofit existing ticket vending machines and other interactive kiosks. It runs invisibly on top of existing user interfaces, allowing you to add touchless capability without writing a single line of code or changing the current user interface.

Touchless Ticketing Machine Demo – Key Features

  • Simple, intuitive “Air Push” interaction
  • Hand movements can be reliably detected up to 75 cm away from the surface
  • Demonstrates both keyboards (e.g. for typing in a collection code) and simpler button-style interactions
  • Uses Ultraleap’s world-leading hand tracking hardware and software – fast, robust, and accurate
  • Includes a “Call to Interact” animation to help users understand touchless interaction quickly

About “Air Push”

The demo uses an interaction style called “Air Push”. The user controls a cursor with their hand movements and selects a button by simply pushing forward in mid-air.

The interaction is reinforced with visual feedback. As the user’s hand moves forward, a circle moves inwards towards the central point of the cursor.

The Air Push interaction allows users to select a button by simply pushing forwards in mid-air.
The Air Push interaction allows users to select a button by simply pushing forwards in mid-air.

Our user research into touchless interactions has found that for users accustomed to touchscreens, Air Push is the most intuitive way of operating a touchless interface. This was based on testing three types of interaction with members of the public: Air Push, Hover & Hold and Grab.

Ultraleap touchless interaction with touchscreen - hand tracking push
Air Push interaction
Ultraleap touchless interaction with touchscreen - hand tracking hover
Hover & Hold interaction
Ultraleap touchless interaction with touchscreen - hand tracking grab
Grab interaction

There are three key requirements of a mid-air interaction that need to be met for it to be adopted by users. It needs to be easy to learn, reliable, and quick.

  • Hover & Hold: We found that hovering and holding your hand still to select a button is easy to learn and reliable. However, users must wait a few seconds each time they select something before moving on the next task. This makes it quite slow.
  • Grab: While a grab interaction is quick, it’s difficult to learn. This is because it’s not an intuitive way of interacting with a button in the physical world.
  • Air Push: Our testing showed that Air Push is easy to learn, reliable, and quick to execute. For our Touchless Ticket Machine demo, it works for both inputting text on a keyboard and button-style interactions.

Gareth Young is Senior UX Designer at Ultraleap, designing mid-air and XR applications that demonstrate the benefits of using mid-air hand tracking, gestures and haptics over conventional interfaces.

Interested in integrating gesture control into ticketing solutions?

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