The MIT Age Lab recently worked with Monotype in an investigation of effects of typeface on the demand of human-machine interactions during a simulated in-vehicle point-of-interest (POI) menu selection task. Their study showed that people could perform a menu selection task faster and with more accuracy depending upon the text type used as well as white text on a black background vs. the standard block text on a white background. Differences were clearly noted.
See the White Paper Revealing Differences in Legibility Between Typefaces Using Psychophysical Techniques: Implications for Glance Time and Cognitive Processing , Jonathan Dobres, Nadine Chahine, Bryan Reimer, Bruce Mehler, & Joseph Coughlin.
“Psychophysics” is about the scientific methods that look at the physical properties of a stimulus such as brightness, contrast, and presentation time to mention a few and also the psychological effects or perceptions that they generate. Monotype and MIT developed a Stimulus Onset Asynchrony (SOA) research method for testing typeface legibility under glance-like scenarios.
I spoke to Dave Gould, Director of Product Marketing and Rob Abreu, Director of Field Operations at Monotype and found out some very eye-opening facts about type-face and how it affects the viewer.
The breakthrough here is the creation of a more flexible, cost-effective and time-effective method for designers to test specific typeface legibility which led to their Monotype Spark Solution. This type and technology solution gives designers and engineers the ability to create a product with high-quality scalable text interfaces in low-end platforms with limited run-time memory. This will now benefit wearable displays, the Internet of Things (IoT) and medical device displays as well as low and mid-end automobile clusters without the costly burden of additional hardware or memory.
Modern day customers need a worldwide font with capability of different languages that are legible and with scalable font.
An automobile with a price tag of greater than $40K has a connected smart phone, radio, navigation, and dashboard and a dot-matrix bit map does not match the level of quality of this type of vehicle which the consumer expects. Bit map technology is hard-coded and stores each different font scenario separately which takes much more memory.
In addition, unpredictable text such as in the case of displaying an Internet connection can bring different languages and text sizes. Monotype offers scalable text at a lower cost than the older bit map method. The Monotype Spark solution is comprised of iType Spark and WorldType Shaper Spark software, and a set of optimized fonts. These enable market demands which need to support complex bidirectional scripts like Arabic, Thai and Devangari with a run-time RAM footprint of five kbytes and a code size for an ARM processor of about 118 kbytes.
Initial Target Platforms
Seeing is believing. Comments?