We aim to contribute to the development of tactile-based pedestrian navigation systems that help users to navigate urban environments with minimal attention to the user-device interface. This paper describes the design and evaluation of a prototype and reports findings from (i) a lab-based study that directly compared features of two widely researched forms of tactile display: a waist belt and a back array; and (ii) a field evaluation which compared our prototype tactile-based navigation system (TactNav) with a visual mobile maps application (Nokia Maps™). Lab results indicated that the waist belt afforded significantly better performance than the back array across a wide range of metrics. Field results indicated that users' performance with the tactile-based system was equivalent to that with the visual-based system in terms of accuracy while route completion time was significantly faster with the tactile-based directional display.
Srikulwong, M., & O'Neill, E. (2013). Wearable tactile display of directions for pedestrian navigation: comparative lab and field evaluations. In World Haptics Conference (WHC) 2013 (pp. 503-508). IEEE. https://doi.org/10.1109/WHC.2013.6548459