Some of the most pressing questions human factor researchers try to answer are:
These questions address real-world challenges and have implications for improving human well-being, productivity, and safety.
Research in human factors can lead to practical solutions and innovations that benefit individuals, organizations, and society as a whole.
To answer those complex questions, a lot of different data needs to be collected.
Measuring the various signals from the human body in response to the diverse stimuli from our environment is one part of this information; observing participants during their real-life performance is another.
Sometimes, signals from the devices we interact with, like computers, gaze data, simulation stations, etc., are added to the data pool.
By measuring and integrating these physiological signals in combination with real-life observations, we can better understand conscious and non-conscious reactions.
Typical modalities that can be of interest to a human research study are:
The synchronized integration of the resulting different types of data is vital for comprehensively understanding all those processes in their many different contexts.
That is why a Mangold Human Factors Research Lab usually contains various devices for recording video and audio signals, psychological measures, EEG data, eye-tracking data, and stimuli generators.
Synchronized recording of all this data is the main challenge, but a full-featured Mangold Human Factors Lab makes it possible and manageable.
Another often underestimated but major challenge is to playback and review all the collected data streams in a synchronized manner to find relevant and viable results.
To accomplish these challenges, the Mangold Human Factors lab includes a combination of software modules, tailored to your needs: Mangold VideoSyncPro Studio, Mangold INTERACT, Mangold DataView, and maybe even Mangold Vision and Mangold LogSquare.
In addition, according to your specific needs, it will include various hardware devices like cameras, bio-physiological sensors, and maybe an eye tracker. These software and hardware packages work together hand in hand to integrate different data modalities.
During recording, Mangold VideoSyncPro Studio is the linchpin of each Mangold Human Factors Lab.
It records multiple audio and video sources in sync, accepts markers from different sources, functions as a debriefing station, and can send a signal to third-party recorders that allow us to insert a synchronization entry.
Mangold VideoSyncPro Studio can send a 'recording started' signal to external recorders in several ways: through your network via UDP, by using a USB switch in combination with a dedicated cable to the external recorder, by a keyboard signal for applications running on the same computer as VideoSyncPro Studio, or by a binary LTP port signal with a dedicated cable.
It is also possible to remotely control VideoSyncPro Studio from an external application using UDP signals. This method allows you, for example, to start recording externally if this external application can send custom UDP commands.
Lastly, activating presets to position one or more cameras automatically inserts markers into the recording log file for visual reference and identification of a change in position. External events captured from or generated by external devices or third-party software products can also be automatically inserted as markers or imported afterward.
Each Mangold Human Factors Lab comes with the Mangold Remote Observer. This add-on allows you to supervise and fully remote control a recording session on your Mangold VideoSyncPro Studio recording station.
Using a handheld device, you can start and stop recordings, log markers during the session, and use presets to control your cameras.
Multiple Remote Observers can connect to the same sessions to log independent observations from another perspective or while each observer focuses on a different participant.
After the session, you can enrich your live observations with further details in Mangold VideoSyncPro Studio using its Marker & Debriefing functions.
Alternatively, you can transfer your live-markers to Mangold INTERACT to add fine-granulated observations with perfect timing and maybe using hierarchical Coding Systems if required. Mangold INTERACT allows you to go into much more detail and enables close examination of all sources simultaneously.
For starters, measured values can be used to automatically generate Events into Mangold INTERACT, based on values in a specific channel.
This functionality allows you to watch exactly those sequences in the video, or examine what happened in the last so many seconds before a specific drop or increase of values occurred, etc.
For example, whenever the participant's heart rate rises above 90 bpm, you want to examine a) if there are any visual signs of this increased heart rate and b) what happened in the last, e.g. 30 seconds before this threshold was breached.
Secondly, you can quickly transfer the observation codes you used for your observations directly into the raw measured data. This function applies all selected observation codes assigned to specific time frames to all values measured during exactly these time frames.
The combination of measured values and observational data on this raw data level allows you to calculate totals, averages, standard deviations, and more over the measured values per observed behavior right away or process the combined values and observations through special statistics applications like R.
For a Mangold Human Factors Research lab, the software module Mangold INTERACT is the central application for multidimensional data analysis. With its external data visualization module Mangold DataView we create dynamic charts with the captured numeric data running in sync with your videos.
Combining events that were automatically generated based on measured values with manually logged observations and applying the available time-related data mining functions can really help you to get the best out of all data collected.
With Mangold INTERACT, you can, among other things, determine contingencies, find specific co-occurrences, and generate coding segments for the overlappings of all information or run the sequence analysis routine.
Manually adapt any offset with millisecond accuracy for all data streams, including video!
As discussed before, it is crucial to synchronize all your data streams for in-depth analysis. Ideally, this synchronization is covered during recording and the import process.
Still, Mangold INTERACT and its external data visualization module Mangold DataView provide several mechanisms to manually synchronize your observational data, videos, and externally recorded data values. You can adapt the required offset with millisecond accuracy for any data stream, including video.