Vibrating Belt Could Help the Blind Navigate the World
Sensory augmentation worn on the waist
The feelSpace Navigation Belt is fitted with 16 actuators that vibrate to guide a blind person. Paired up to a GPS-enabled phone, it acts as the blind’s precise guide to navigating the city.
Using the belt is easy. The desired destination is keyed in on the smartphone, the route is calculated, and the belt does the navigating. A vibrator signals at which specific angle to make a turn to while the other actuators dynamically vibrate in response, so the wearer knows when to stop turning.
Compared to other navigation systems, the German startup behind the belt says the tactile feedback drops a lower load on the senses. The noise of the city wouldn’t interfere with the vibrations. The 360° coverage also gives a higher level of confidence. This also means that turning toward diagonal roads becomes an easy feat.