LVS is partnering with New York–based WearWorks, a haptic design company that delivers detailed and nuanced information through touch, to introduce the WAYBAND™ wrist device, which emits patterns of vibrations to guide wearers to their destinations as they walk or run.
The WAYBAND device is an example of haptic design in which information is communicated to the user visa touch, often through patterns of vibration. It connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth, using data from GPS, magnetometer, and compass sensors along with location information from OpenStreetMap and proprietary technology to drive the mapping application and the navigational feedback vibrations. Unlike audio cues, the navigational vibrations aren’t compromised by surrounding noise, so the visually impaired can still listen for nearby pedestrians and vehicles.
WearWorks plans to launch a limited release of 20 WAYBAND devices for beta testing in September 2019, of which 5 have been allotted for testing and early adoption by the LVS community in the DC-Maryland-Virginia region. In addition, WearWorks has initiated a Kickstarter campaign to release additional units to retail outlets, including the Low Vision Shop.