Vibration Feedback

This is one of my first projects I worked on as a student assistant. The idea of using tactile feedback for in-car navigation systems was transferred to motorcycles. Motorcyclists experience harder driving conditions compared to car drivers as noise and the weather conditions hit motorcyclists directly. Today, sat-navs for motorcyclists are mainly adapted in in-car navigation systems. These systems mainly use audio and visual communication channels which are not optimal for motorcyclists. The higher noise level and lighting conditions make it hard for motorcyclists to read a map on a display or to listen to the audio voice. Therefore, tactile feedback has a potential to improve the sat-nav usage on motorcycles.

We equipped gloves with actuators and afterwards we tested, with the help of user studies, how motorcyclists accept such a system. All cyclists mentioned that they would purchase such a system for driving tasks if it is available. More information about the study and the system can be found in [1].

However, the system is still not optimal and further work is needed until such a system can be integrated in today’s motorcyclists’ clothing. Different actuators and vibration patterns need to be tested in more detail and under real driving conditions. [1] shows that such a system is of value and well accepted.

[1] Dominik Bial, Dagmar Kern, Florian Alt, Albrecht Schmidt: Enhancing Outdoor Navigation Systems through Vibrotactile Feedback. In CHI Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Vancouver, Canada, 2011.