Japanese startup Loovic has introduced a wearable neckband that helps people who get easily lost by providing tactile and auditory navigation.
The system uses a neckband-shaped device to analyze the user’s physical orientation and then provide accurate direction through voice prompts and tactile responses on the neck and shoulders.
The technology was developed in response to problems experienced by Loovic CEO Toru Tamanka’s son, who suffers from visuospatial cognitive impairment that makes learning directions difficult. This ailment impacts about 5% to 6% of the population in Japan and causes high levels of anxiety.
The goal is to relieve anxiety by providing a clear navigation path that users with this ailment or those just needing better directions can follow.
The system uses a navigation app and two types of gyroscope sensors built into the neckband. These sensors help the system determine which way the user should walk or turn. It also has bone-conduction actuators on its back, front, left and right for tactile prompts.
Additionally, a sound system delivers haptics and auditory instructions selecting landmarks that are easier to find for people with visuospatial cognitive impairments or just those who can’t follow directions well.
CES 2023 takes place January 5-8 in Las Vegas.