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The rotating compass: a novel interaction technique for mobile navigation

Research output: Contribution in Book/Report/ProceedingsConference contribution


Publication date2005
Host publicationCHI EA '05: CHI '05 extended abstracts on Human factors in computing systems
Place of publicationNew York
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)1-59593-002-7
Original languageEnglish


In current mobile navigation systems users receive the navigational instructions on a visual display or by descriptive audio. The mapping between the provided navigation information and the surrounding world has still to be performed by the users. In our approach that aims at public spaces, we combine a public display that shows directions with a synchronized output on a personal device. We describe a system where on the public display a compass with a rotating needle is shown. When the compass needle points in the desired direction, the mobile device of the user vibrates. This unobtrusive cue, allows the user to navigate without listening to or looking at the mobile device. In this paper we introduce the concept of synchronized information displays for navigation. We describe our prototype of such a system and report on a user study, that shows the feasibility of the approach.