- Vibrobelt: Tactile Navigation Support for Cyclists
- IUI '13: 18th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces
- Book/source title
- IUI '13: proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces: March 19-22, 2013, Santa Monica, CA, USA
- Pages (from-to)
- New York, NY: Association for Computing Machinery
- Document type
- Conference contribution
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Informatics Institute (IVI)
Tactile displays can be used without demanding the attention from the human visual system, which makes them attractive for use in wayfinding contexts, where visual attention should be directed at traffic and other information in the environment. To investigate the potential of tactile navigation for cyclists, we have designed and implemented Vibrobelt. This belt, worn around the waist, gives waypoint, distance and endpoint information using directional tactile cues. We evaluated Vibrobelt by comparing it to a visual navigation application. Twenty participants were asked to cycle two routes, each route with a different application. We measured the spatial knowledge acquisition and analyzed the visual focus of the participants. We found that Vibrobelt was successful at guiding all participants to their destinations over an unfamiliar route. Participants using Vibrobelt showed a lower error rate for recognizing images from the route than users of the visual system. Users of the visual system were generally navigating faster, and were better at recalling the route, showing a higher contextual route understanding. The endpoint distance encoding was not always correctly interpreted. Future research will improve Vibrobelt by making a clearer distinction between waypoint and endpoint information, and will test users in more complex navigational situations.
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