naviBelt – a belt that guides using directional vibration

This week Mark takes a look at the naviBelt from feelSpace, a belt that connects to your phone and uses 360-degree vibration around your waist to guide you to your destination. Mark takes it for a spin around the local area and gives his review.

Summary:

This video introduces a mobility aid called naviBelt, which provides directional vibrations to aid navigation for individuals with sight loss. The naviBelt, created by the German company Fieldspace, is a belt worn around the waist with vibration pads that provide tactile feedback based on the user’s intended route.

The naviBelt offers two main modes of operation. The first is a turn-by-turn routing scenario, which utilises Apple Maps. Users input their destination, and the belt vibrates accordingly to guide them left and right. The second mode is the B-line feature, which points users in the general direction of their destination without providing specific turn-by-turn directions.

In the video, Mark Belcher, demonstrates the naviBelt by using it to navigate to different locations, including a visit to the Manchester United mega store and a Tesco superstore. The device impressively guides him accurately, providing him with confidence and reassurance during the navigation process.

The naviBelt’s practical design includes easily detachable components, allowing for convenient washing of the belt, which is crucial for long-term wear. The belt itself is lightweight, ensuring that users don’t feel burdened while wearing it.

However, one limitation mentioned is the lack of pre-populated points of interest in the app, unlike other navigation tools like Soundscape or Lazarillo. This means users need to know the specific location they want to reach and manually input it into the app.

Overall, the naviBelt is praised as a smart and innovative solution to aid mobility for individuals with visual impairments. The device effectively provides tactile navigation without disrupting the user’s auditory senses, making it an appealing alternative for those who prefer a non-audio-based solution.

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