Prototype Development of a Low-Cost Vibro-Tactile Navigation Aid for the Visually Impaired

  • Vanessa PetrauschEmail author
  • Thorsten Schwarz
  • Rainer Stiefelhagen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10897)


Vibro-tactile support for navigation tasks is helpful, not only for visually impaired people. However many different prototypes exist which are not available for experimental usage or commercial ones are expensive. We developed a low-cost prototype of a wristlet and anklet that can easily be rebuild. We evaluated them in a two step procedure with 11 and 10 participants. Both prototypes are easy to use and comfortable to wear. However, the wristlet had a high error rate so that it was not used in the second test. Comparisons between the anklet and voice guidance during navigation in the second test showed the potential of vibration for navigation tasks, but implied a refinement of the design, which will be tested in further studies.


Vibro-tactile wristlet/anklet Blind Visual impaired User study Prototype Navigation 



We would like to thank Patryk Dzierzawski for the design, development and implementation of the first study of the two prototypes.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vanessa Petrausch
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thorsten Schwarz
    • 1
  • Rainer Stiefelhagen
    • 1
  1. 1.Study Centre for the Visually ImpairedKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany

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