In the last few years I’ve seen variations on haptic way finding wearable aids for the visually impaired. None thus far compare in product and experience design to Point Locus, developed by David Barter, Emily Chen, Karen Truong, Kennett Kwok and Stephanie Wiriahardja.
Point Locus is an exemplary prototype of a wearable device that helps enrich the user’s life. The prototype is nicely designed (it’s definitely wearable) and the system has gone through initial design and user research. Compare Point Locus to Navigation Aids for the Visually Impaired (NAVI) — both student projects — and the difference in user experience design is immense.
NAVI uses much more complex technology to essentially address the same problem — helping the visually impaired navigate through the built environment— but the usability of the system leaves much to be desired.
These two projects are an interesting case study on design vs engineering. How about we get these two groups of students working together. I wonder what amazing and rich designs will come out of that collaboration.