In many cockpits, control display units (CDUs) are vital input and information devices. In order to
improve the usability of these devices, Barco, in cooperation with TU-Delft, created a touch screen control unit (TSCU), consisting of a high-quality multi-touch screen. The unit fits in the standard
dimensions of a conventional CDU and is thus suitable for both retrofit and new installations. The TSCU offers two major advantages. First, the interface can be reconfigured to enable consecutive execution of several tasks on the same display area, allowing for a more efficient usage of the limited display real-estate as well as a potential reduction of cost. Secondly, advanced graphical interface design, in combination with multi-touch gestures, can improve human-machine interaction. To demonstrate the capabilities of this concept, a graphical software application was developed to
perform the same operations as a conventional CDU, but now using a direct manipulation interface (DMI) of the displayed graphics. The TSCU can still be used in a legacy CDU mode, displaying a virtual keyboard operated with the touch interface. In addition, the TSCU could be used for a variety of other cockpit functions. The paper concludes with a report of pilot and non-pilot feedback.