Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp 973–985 | Cite as

Navigation your way: from spontaneous independent exploration to dynamic social journeys

  • Simon RobinsonEmail author
  • Matt Jones
  • John Williamson
  • Roderick Murray-Smith
  • Parisa Eslambolchilar
  • Mads Lindborg
Original Article


In this article, we describe a novel approach to pedestrian navigation using bearing-based haptic feedback. People are guided in the general direction of their destination via a minimal directional cue, but additional exploration is stimulated by varying feedback based on the potential for taking alternative routes. This extreme navigation method removes the complexities of maps and direction following, concentrating on allowing pedestrians to actively explore their surroundings, rather than offering perfect, but passive, turn-by-turn guidance. We simulate and build two mobile prototypes to examine the possible benefits of this approach, then further extend its impact by considering how social media might be incorporated to provide a real-time, dynamically evolving map of physical locations. The successful use of our mobile prototypes is demonstrated in a realistic field trial, and we discuss the results and interesting participant behaviours that were recorded, validating the predictions from their earlier simulation. We continue by simulating the use of publicly posted status updates and pictures as a proxy for location mapping, showing how these methods can produce comparable navigation results to real-world field trials, highlighting their potential as tools for real-world social journeys.


Static Feedback Angular Width Dynamic Feedback Directional Vibration Path Choice 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



This work was funded by EPSRC grants EP/E042171/1 & EP/E042740/1. Thanks to project colleagues for their input to this and our earlier research.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon Robinson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Matt Jones
    • 1
  • John Williamson
    • 2
  • Roderick Murray-Smith
    • 2
  • Parisa Eslambolchilar
    • 1
  • Mads Lindborg
    • 3
  1. 1.Future Interaction Technology LabSwansea UniversitySwanseaUK
  2. 2.School of Computing ScienceUniversity of GlasgowGlasgowUK
  3. 3.Nokia Devices, Nokia Mobile PhonesCopenhagenDenmark

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