Buzzway is a futuristic concept for smart shoe insoles that comes with an accompanying app. For hands-free navigation, Buzzway vibrates the respective foot using sensors to offer directional cues without looking at the mobile phone screens.
NOKIA Research Centre,
Project goal was to design new clothing embedded with sensors, and design user interfaces constructed from items typical of clothing
Some of the specific objectives provided were:
Clothing should be affordable and used daily.
There should be no focus on military clothing, medical clothing, or wearable gadgets/accessories such as bracelets or watches
Examined commercial wearable technology and commercial electronics. The market offers:
Examined the availability of functional fabrics.
Fabric that Glows
Naturally Functional fabric
Our aim was also to understand what commercial wearable designs are already available and what technology exists to support our task to create a new wearable technology concept.
1:1 interviews were conducted with 10 users in India and 10 users in Finland to know about their perceptions of smart clothing and understand what they actually need and want from their clothes.
We realize that people's desire for smart clothing isn't something we see in tech movies. As a matter of fact, people are looking for clothes that perform better and operate more efficiently.
Several concepts were generated at the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur and Aalto University Finland.
About 20 concepts were developed that were categorized into five categories.
Research Question and Converging to an Idea
In what ways can we inhibit the user's interaction with their screen-based devices during navigation, and instead leverage hands-free navigation to better engage them in their surroundings?
Redefining the Problem Statement
Designing a smart navigation shoe that can take you to places without looking into the map.
Before designing the prototype, the following points were considered
Should be wearable for relatively long periods of time.
A shoe can be fitted with miniature electronics.
The prototype video demonstration
This product is a shoe insole sensor that vibrates the respective feet to provide cues for making left or right turns. Therefore, the user does not have to constantly look at the mobile screen for visual cues.
Teensy 2.0 microcontroller.
4.0 BLE Bluetooth module.
PCB was designed to control power to the Teensy 2.0 board and for signaling the Bluetooth.
Extremely lightweight 3.7V and 400mAh battery
In this application, each shoe is paired with the app.
The tourist has to select all the places they are interested in, they would press the "+" sign and then "GO" to begin navigation.
During navigation, the application runs in the background, and the phone can be locked and put in the pocket.
User feedback was collected on GALA day in Finland when the prototype was tested. Positive feedback was received and the prototype was highly appreciated.
System Usability Score (SUS)
SUS ratings were taken from 32 users to get instant feedback about the product. The mean score was 80.315 and thus the feedback was positive.
Limitations of the Design
Power - Power has been one of our product's biggest limitations. Even though transistor density continues to shrink exponentially, efficient battery systems should be designed for prolonged product usage.
Heat Dissipation - The electronics bundled with our design suffer from heat dissipation problems. Processors must be designed to disperse heat away from them, otherwise, they will suffer thermal shutdown.