Mobile Media

A navigation system for parents with strollers

Problem

When parents are travelling with children in a stroller in cities they are unfamiliar with, it is difficult to keep their bearings to reach their destination. Using a smartphone to navigate can distract parents from focusing on their children. This can lead to stressful situations. We created the following question, that helped us to elaborate a navigation system to support parents being on the move with their small children.

How might we achieve keeping the focus on the child and the surrounding while navigating?

Navigation Language

To achieve a discreet navigation without distracting the parents, vibration and light are used as navigation signals. The navigation language consists of five signals.

Start

Both sides of the handle vibrate three times briefly while the blue and red led alternately light up. Every part shows up to get to know the parts of the hardware.

Change of direction

One side of the handle vibrates three times briefly.

Point of Interest

Both sides of the handle vibrate one time and the blue led lights up. Is it useful to get information about e.g. child friendly coffee shops or playgrounds.

Warning

Both sides of the handle vibrate three times long and the red led lights up.

Destination

Both sides of the handle vibrate three times briefly and the blue led lights up the same way.

Prototype and User tests

We created a prototype to test the navigation language. For this we attached vibration motors and LEDs to the handle which were controlled by a microcontroller. The users were introduced to the scenario and walked a route navigated by the prototype.

Prototype of the handle
User testing with Marielle

Both handles vibrate intensely and blink red. I guess I have to be careful. - Marielle

We used the given feedback and insights to improve the navigation language and the prototype to do a second user test. This showed significantly better results as the signals were more distinct and better perceived.

Design Prototype

Kivi should be able to be used for every stroller. Therefore it should consist of an elastic handle, which is put over the handlebar of the stroller. To show the construction we created a design prototype.

Project Facts

Team: Marius Jakob, Ethan Günther
Course: Mobile Media
Consulting: Steffen Kolb
University: HfG Schwaebisch Gmuend, Summer 18