NTT Docomo Navigation through the finger by the sense of touch eliminates the need to walk while looking at a smartphone

Guidance by touch as if holding hands
“Yubi Navi” is a device that shows the way just by holding it, and is attracting lots of attention in the Docomo booth.

yubinaviYubi Navi is a new stick-type navigation device that feels like holding somebody’s hand. The device provides map guidance through the sense of touch by connecting to the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth. Then, by vibrating before the user comes to a corner, the device automatically lets the user know it’s time to turn by causing a rotating-like sensation in the user’s finger. Because the device guides the user to the desired destination by sensations in the finger alone, the user does not need to check the map on the smartphone screen. In addition, 2 people, who are in different locations, can use Yubi Navi to communicate with each other through the sense of touch – when both hold on to the device the other’s device will vibrate.

A new user experience in the Docomo booth
Docomo’s booth guide explains “This demonstration provides users with a new experience. We would like to convey the idea that it’s possible to have these kinds of new experiences by combining the technology available now. Of course, this device also goes towards solving the dangerous social problem of people walking while using their smartphone. Using this device will enable people to enjoy the townscape while walking, and it also eliminates any language barrier. Although still under development, we are advancing the technology with the aim to commercialize the device in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. We hope people from overseas visiting Japan during that time will be able to use the device.”
The guide also explains that the company intends to further miniaturize the device and enable it for wireless communications.

The rotating-sensation and feel of holding hands with Yubi Navi are must see hands-on demonstration at the Docomo booth.