Pedestrian navigation using the sense of touch

Jacob, Ricky and Winstanley, Adam C. and Togher, Naomi and Roche, Richard and Mooney, Peter (2012) Pedestrian navigation using the sense of touch. Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 36. pp. 513-525. ISSN 0198-9715

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Haptics is a feedback technology that takes advantage of the human sense of touch by applying forces, vibrations, and/or motions to a haptic-enabled user device such as a mobile phone. Historically, human–computer interaction has been visual, data, or images on a screen. Haptic feedback can be an important modality in Mobile Location-Based Services like – knowledge discovery, pedestrian navigation and notification systems. In this paper we describe a methodology for the implementation of haptics in four distinct prototypes for pedestrian navigation. Prototypes are classified based on the user’s navigation guidance requirements, the user type (based on spatial skills), and overall system complexity. Here haptics is used to convey location, orientation, and distance information to users using pedestrian navigation applications. Initial user trials have elicited positive responses from the users who see benefit in being provided with a ‘‘heads up’’ approach to mobile navigation. We also tested the spatial ability of the user to navigate using haptics and landmark images based navigation. This was followed by a test of memory recall about the area. Users were able to successfully navigate from a given origin to a Destination Point without the use of a visual interface like a map. Results show the users of haptic feedback for navigation prepared better maps (better memory recall) of the region as compared to the users of landmark images based navigation.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: The definitive version of this article is available at © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. Research presented in this paper was funded by a Strategic Research Cluster Grant (07/SRC/I1168) by Science Foundation Ireland under the National Development Plan. We thank all the students who took part in the user trials. We acknowledge the inputs from our colleagues at the Department of Psychology. The authors gratefully acknowledge this support.
Keywords: Haptics; Pedestrian navigation; Orientation; Memory recall; Cognition; Spatial abilities;
Academic Unit: Faculty of Science and Engineering > Computer Science
Item ID: 5826
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.compenvurbsys.2012.10.001
Depositing User: Peter Mooney
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2015 17:28
Journal or Publication Title: Computers, Environment and Urban Systems
Publisher: Elsevier
Refereed: Yes
Funders: Science Foundation Ireland (SFI)

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