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Locast Travels Wearable Gadget

From Locast Travels ---
Locast wearable is a mobile medium that provides visitors during their trip with alternative navigation experiences through its visual and haptic interfaces and functions like digital souvenir to keep an emotional link with their experiences in the city after their visit.

In the city, Locast wearable is designed to show real-time context-aware visualizations of the geo-referenced information streamed from the Locast mobile phone application over Bluetooth. Through its digital compass and sensors, it shows proximity and orientation information for places and their related media and allows the user navigate their desired itineraries with a haptic interface that provides tactile just-in-time reminders about places.

At home, the wearable becomes a permanent archive of the memory of the trip, where it displays photos and video clips collected through the different itineraries from the visit.

Core Team Federico Casalegno, David Boardman, Orkan Telhan, Steve Pomeroy, Brian McMurray, Lily Fu
Support Team Leonardo Benuzzi, Solomon Bisker, Natalie Cheung, Dan Johnston, Guz Gutmann, Julie Lindley, John Luciani (wiblock), Yoni Samlan, Gaia Scagnetti, Carl Yu

Thanks to David Boardman for providing the pictures for this webpage.


Working from a list of requirements a hardware specification was developed. Within the defined physical outline an OLED display, digital compass, Bluetooth radio, USB interface, Li-ion charger, tilt sensor and motor drive transistors needed to be integrated. The manual controls included a potentiometer to control the intensity of the haptic sense motors and an on/off switch. The Li-ion charger will perform a slow-charge using the 5V supply on the USB connector or can fast-charge using the power jack.


Low-level drivers and a basic test program were created to demonstrate the functionality of the hardware. The application program was created by the team at the MIT Mobile Experience Lab.

When the gadget is tilted to a horizontal position the waypoints are displayed on a polar grid. Relative direction is displayed using the indicator at the center of the grid. Relative distance is displayed using the grid lines. Using the GPS coordinates and the time data received from a mobile phone a declination angle correction can be performed.

Haptic feedback of direction is performed using the vibrating motors in the neck strap. The potentiometer on the side of the gadget enables the user to adjust the intensity of the vibration.