Tactile Wayfinder: A Non-Visual Support System for Wayfinding

Heuten, Wilko and Henze, Niels and Pielot, Martin and Boll, Susanne
Proceedings of NordiCHI
Digital maps and route descriptions on a PDA have become very popular for navigation, not the least with the advent of the iPhone and its Google Maps application. A visual support for wayfinding, however, is not reasonable or even possible all the time. A pedestrian must pay attention to traffic on the street, a hiker should concentrate on the narrow trail, and a blind person relies on other modalities to find her way. To overcome these limitations, we developed a non-visual support for wayfinding that guides and keeps a mobile user en route by a tactile display. We designed a belt with vibrators that indicates directions and deviations from the path in an accurate and unobtrusive way. Our first user evaluation showed that on an open field without any landmarks the participants stayed well to given test routes and that wayfinding support is possible with our Tactile Wayfinder.
01 / 2008
ACM Press
Enhanced Network Accessibility for the Blind and Visually Impaired
ACM Press