Tactile Navigation Interface Pokes You When It's Time to Turn

Verbal directions given by GPS navigation systems can be hard to hear in a noisy car. That's why researchers at the University of Utah are developing a navigation system that communicates driving directions through a tactile interface:

The researchers say they don't want their results to encourage dangerous and distracted driving by cell phone users. Instead, they hope the study will point to new touch-based directional devices to help motorists and hearing-impaired people drive more safely. The same technology also could help blind pedestrians with a cane that provides directional cues to the person's thumb.

"It has the potential of being a safer way of doing what's already being done – delivering information that people are already getting with in-car GPS navigation systems," says the study's lead author, William Provancher, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Utah.

Link via Popular Science | Photos: Nate Medeiros-Ward/William Provancher, University of Utah

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