Haptic Bike Navigation Project Update #2

Timeline for prototype completion: 


Bill of Materials: 


Our team (Sam Sadtler, Marc Abi-Samra, Catherine Rehwinkel) is currently designing the pseudocode and user interface aspects of our haptic bike navigation system.  We are currently considering creating a program which includes two basic navigation/routing options for the user: one provides the cyclist with the most economical route on destination input from the user and then uses a simple code of vibration feedback to signal the rider to turn.  The second, which we recently concieved of are referring to as 'True Destination' (time allowing paired in this iteration with a 'True North' functionality), gives the user a range of degree based on each turn decision the rider makes.  On destination input (a geolocation point, an address or simply a Cardinal direction) the rider can start the journey in any direction and receive a range-expressive signal which guides the rider to take a turn in the best direction.  This method differs from the first in that it doesn't prioritize route efficiency or any specific series of street turns because it prioritizes cyclist safety. The cyclist may turn when he/she feels safety is optimal and still arrive at the destination using a deliberate route. 

Below is a map which was generated using JavaScript and the Google Maps API. We are in the process of making a JavaScript web application which, in this scenario, will pull a user's GPS location and then produce a tone when it is time for them to turn. Ideally the tone will produce enough voltage to turn on a set of LEDs. If the headphone port does not provide enough power we will send the tones to an Arduino Mini which will have its own power supply be able to control the electronic components.

And here is a sketch of our "True Destination" safety routing option. 

We continue to refine our user survey strategy.  We have been talking to CitiBike users at stations to gather feedback and insight about design priorities.  One major insight has been that CitiBike users seem to be bikers with a routine or else are tourists or non-serious cyclists.  A pattern which has arisen is that casual cyclists do not seem to consider that there could be another option to the dangerously distracting audio-visual feedback from a smartphone naviation system.  We are adding bike shops to our user research because we have decided to prioritize safety and believe that serious recreational or professional cyclists may be our initial target user to design for. 

Post by Catherine Rehwinkel & Sam Sadtler