The Psychomotor Vigilance Task (PVT) is a well-validated reaction time test used to assess a person's overall sleepiness. PVT has typically required a physical button to assess reaction time. When translating this application to mobile devices, a touchscreen version is useful for widespread use for in situ sleep assessments.

PVT-Touch is a touchscreen version of PVT implemented on Android. We have evaluated four different touchscreen input techniques for PVT and found that for smartphone users, the familiar touch down technique is comparable to the physical button used in traditional PVT for several measures associated with sleepiness and was preferred by a majority of participants [1]. We have also conducted an initial validation study of PVT-Touch against PVT-192, finding a high correlation in scores (r=0.902) [2].

Getting a copy of PVT-Touch

PVT-Touch is free for personal use or non-commercial research use. If you would like to use PVT-Touch in a study, please file out this form or contact Matthew Kay (mjskay@uw.edu) for a more information.

PVT-Touch currently supports:

  • Customizable interstimulus intervals / foreperiods
  • Customizable test lengths
  • Customizable deadlines
  • Multiple input techniques (touch down, finger lift, finger tilt, and physical button)
  • Integration with some experience sampling systems for automated data downloading (MovisensXS, ohmage).

An older version of the PVT-Touch code is available below, but is not the version that has been validated, and does not support the features listed above.


  1. Matthew Kay, Kyle Rector, Sunny Consolvo, Ben Greenstein, Jacob O. Wobbrock, Nathaniel F. Watson, and Julie A. Kientz (2013). PVT-Touch: adapting a reaction time test for touchscreen devices, in Proceedings of PervasiveHealth 2013: Conference on pervasive computing technologies for healthcare.
  2. Matthew Kay, Michael Grandner, Jared Bauer, Rebecca Lang, Nathaniel F. Watson, and Julie A. Kientz (2013). Initial validation of an Android-based psychomotor vigilance task, in Sleep 36: Abstract supplement, A108.
PVT-Touch running on an Android phone, with stimulus visible.


  Demo of PVT-Touch
(Unknown format):
  PVT-Touch code from Intel Labs (tar.bz2)