This paper describes a wearable navigation system based on a haptic directional display embedded in the back of a vest. The system consists of a 4-by-4 array of micromotors for delivering haptic navigational signals to the user's back, an infrared-based input system for locating the user in an environment, and a wearable computer for route planning. User testing was conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of this system as a navigation guide for sighted users in an unfamiliar lab area. It is hoped that such a system can be a useful navigation guide for individuals with severe visual impairments in an unfamiliar environment. Future work will address the specific issues concerning blind navigation.
Keywords: wearable haptic displays, blind navigation, wearable computing.