We are experts at designing products where technology meets the human body. With the emergence of advanced sensor technologies, smart textiles and connectivity platforms we see an explosion of wearable technology in 2019. Introducing our latest innovation in smart wearables and giving you a sneak preview behind the scenes with our dedicated design and development team.
Introducing VibrisPro – the smart “way finding” glove with integrated haptic navigation.
With the rapid growth in cycle delivery services we identified an opportunity to make urban navigation safer and more efficient. Current navigation technologies can be distracting for the cyclist, requiring the user to take their eyes off the road to check the map or use earphones to follow verbal instruction and therefore reduce their auditory sense in busy traffic.
VibrisPro enables heads-up navigation for the cyclist with integrated haptic guidance. Linking with the users smart phone maps VibrisPro provides upcoming directional instruction through a series of haptic pulses located on the back of each hand. To stay safe, high visibility materials and gesture activated LEDs help the cyclist signal to other road users when making a turn. Designed to perform all day for pro-couriers.
We used our concise user case scenario to define our visual language and fit identity of this glove. Materials selected are high performance, comfort fit and, include a high visibility print on the outer hand and gel cushioning on the inner palm. The fit and technical performance of the shape itself is aimed at high function use- this is not a glove for the sake of being a glove.
As we moved through our rapid iterative prototyping process material testing and exploration ran in parallel to our electronic and technology development.
The collaborative process behind this design led to a product that has no compromise to material fit or integrated technology.
Through wireframing and digital prototyping, we designed an effortless digital interaction to ensure an optimised working day for professional couriers. Users simply accept a job on the app and then navigate intuitively and safely to their destinations using the haptic signals.
Temporal haptic patterns were the fastest and most immediate for users to recognise and we distinguished each signal by testing various sequences, intensities and frequencies on various haptic motors. The primary navigational signals simulate rumble strips on roads to naturally direct users to upcoming turns, whereas incoming digital messages are shorter, sharper sequences, clearly differentiating navigation from notification.
We envisaged the Vibris Pro as an API that can plug into any existing delivery service app. It encourages efficiency through a gamified, shared experience of navigation and users can personalise settings such as haptic intensity or haptic start distance. The visual design reflects the high-performance identity of the Vibris Pro glove, using the accent colour to guide users through a seamless flow.
Design Partners has developed robust processes that enable electronics embedded in fabric to be realised in mass production and this glove explores and demonstrates these very techniques.
Brian Stephens - CEO, Design Partners
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