This four-year European Union Project project was coordinated by researchers at Certec between 2008-2012. Please see www.haptimap.org for more extensive information.
If you are walking or cycling, and don’t want to (or are unable to) spend most of the time focusing on a screen, the use of mobile devices tends to be a frustrating experience. The same is true in bright sunlight or if your eyesight just isn’t good enough to see every detail on the mobile screen.
When it comes to mobile devices, accessibility is something that concerns everyone. In a noisy environment we become hard of hearing, while walking we have limited attention to spare and with respect to the small screen we have vision problems.
Mobile navigation solutions were first developed for cars and they are still not well adapted for pedestrians or cyclists. In HaptiMap we are developing truly mobile designs which take into account the “situational impairment” of a user on the move.
Making use of a GPS enables the creation of virtual
landscapes that enhance the environment. You can place soundcrumbs (virtual sound sources) that allow you to navigate a trail, find your way back – or that are simply fun to listen to.
If your device contains a compass, it is possible to find information by pointing at a location. Sweeping movements of the device will give you information about important landmarks – and tell you where things are located even if they are not currently in sight.
Information about which direction to take and the distance to the goal can be given through hearing and touch. With a flexible design, we provide appropriate information in a way that is suitable for a user on the move. On a touch screen, the user can move the finger over the map and get information about names and locations through speech and touch.