Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 121–145 | Cite as

Guided by music: pedestrian and cyclist navigation with route and beacon guidance

  • Robert AlbrechtEmail author
  • Riitta Väänänen
  • Tapio Lokki
Original Article


Music listening and navigation are both common tasks for mobile device users. In this study, we integrated music listening with a navigation service, allowing users to follow the perceived direction of the music to reach their destination. This navigation interface provided users with two different guidance methods: route guidance and beacon guidance. The user experience of the navigation service was evaluated with pedestrians in a city center and with cyclists in a suburban area. The results show that spatialized music can be used to guide pedestrians and cyclists toward a destination without any prior training, offering a pleasant navigation experience. Both route and beacon guidance were deemed good alternatives, but the preference between them varied from person to person and depended on the situation. Beacon guidance was generally considered to be suitable for familiar surroundings, while route guidance was seen as a better alternative for areas that are unfamiliar or more difficult to navigate.


Navigation Walking Cycling Music Spatial audio 



The research leading to these results has received funding from Nokia Technologies. The authors would like to thank all participants in the user studies for their feedback and suggestions, as well as David McGookin for comments and discussion.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert Albrecht
    • 1
    Email author
  • Riitta Väänänen
    • 2
  • Tapio Lokki
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceAalto UniversityEspooFinland
  2. 2.Nokia TechnologiesEspooFinland

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