GuideShoes: Navigation based on musical patterns
Paul Nemirovsky and Glorianna Davenport

CHI '99


One of the most ubiquitous tasks we have to perform is the need to find our way to unknown destinations. We are left alone to deal with maps, ask people for directions, and understand their instructions. How can we avoid this frustrating and time-consuming process? How can we help all the people who canÍt or wonÍt use printed or spoken instructions (little kids, the visually-impaired, or users occupied with other urgent tasks)?

This paper describes GuideShoes, a wearable system that uses aesthetic forms of expression for direct information delivery. This is a first tool to utilize music as an information medium and musical patterns as a means for navigation in an open space, such as a street. GuideShoes provides musical navigational cues in the background, thus reducing the problem of cognitive information overload.

The system consists of a pair of shoes, equipped with a GPS, wireless modem, MIDI synthesizer, CPU, and a base station that acts as the central unit for data processing.

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