Enhancing Navigation with Sunu’s Haptic Compass

Knowing compass direction is an important part of being an independent blind traveler.  We’ve all experienced the frustration of receiving directions that basically tell you “the place is on the right side of the street”. For visually impaired travelers, the use of left / right is inadequate because this type of information depends on the direction of travel. If we use the compass direction which are permanent, instead of left/right, then our chances of successfully navigating there are improved. For example: “the place is on the south side, midway down the street”. Compass directions are important in knowing where you are and where you are going, it’s integral to your orientation and mobility and should be learned and practiced.

An important part of our mission at Sunu is creating technology that enables independence for blind and low vision travelers. When designing Sunu Band, we envisioned a variety of applications that make use of haptic vibration feedback to provide useful information to the user. We are excited to introduce the Sunu Band compass app.

Various sensors within the Sunu Band are used to turn it into an accurate compass. The Sunu Band compass feature is a dual haptic and voice compass. When the Sunu Band is calibrated and the compass app is active, the user raises their hand to point and find the direction that they’re currently heading. Users feel a distinct vibration pattern when facing north and different pattern when they’re facing south. Users can hear the direction they’re heading if the Sunu Voice is active. Sunu Voice will then read the direction that the user is heading.

The Sunu Band compass can be used when traveling in urban environments as well as outdoors when hiking on a trial. Sunu compass is part of a suite of applications being developed for Sunu Band to enhance navigation for blind and visually impaired travelers. Premium features will be available via the Sunu App.

 

 

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