Can a subtle sensation be used to keep someone’s bearings on the trail without completely removing them from the experience?

Mockup of the Wayfinder System generated in Fusion 360

Whether hiking the Appalacian Trail or in the local state park, you want to be able to immerse yourself in the experience. Breaking off from the flow to look down at a map or phone detaches you from the landscape. For those of us that live to get lost in the woods, the wayfinder wristbands and accomponying app can replace a map and compass.


Any great hike starts off with a little planning…

Using the app, you pick a trail from what is nearby, or go into the map and paint your own. Once you get to the start, connect the wristband to your phone and they will communicate to figure out where you are and where you want to go. If you end up diverging too far off the trail, either the left or the right will buzz to help guide you back to where you want to go. There’s no need to look at a map cause you’ll be able to feel it. Even if you find yourself in a situation that the vibration doesn't help, there is a display option built into the main band to help reorient yourself without relying on cell phone data.

A combination of GPS and Haptic Feedback.

Inside the main wristband and the auxillary band are vibration motors and a microcontroller equiped with bluetooth, gps, and a compass module. While connected, the main wristband grabs the gps data, heading information from the compass module and uses it to determine where you are in relation to the path set by the phone. If you end up verging off, the wristband will activate and help you find your way back.