Tactile Wayfinder: Comparison of Tactile Waypoint Navigation with Commercial Pedestrian Navigation Systems

Pielot, Martin and Boll, Susanne
In this paper we report on a field study comparing a commercial pedestrian navigation system to a tactile navigation system called TactileNavSys. Similar to previous approaches the TactileNavSys uses a tactile torso display to present the directions of a route's waypoints to the user. In contrast previous approaches it conveys the location of two rather than one waypoint at a time to improve the understanding of the route's spatial layout. Using a within-subjects design, fourteen participants were asked to navigate along two routes in a busy city centre with the TactileNavSys and a commercial pedestrian navigation system. For both devices we measured the acquisition of spatial knowledge, the level of attention the participants had to devote to the navigation task, and the navigation performance. We found that the TactileNavSys freed the participants' attention, but the navigation system allowed a better navigation performance. No significant difference could be found in the acquisition of spatial knowledge. Instead, a good general sense of direction was highly correlated with good spatial knowledge acquisition and a good navigation performance.
05 / 2010
Haptic, Audio and Visual Interfaces for Maps and Location Based Services