Guiding Light is a navigation assistance system that uses directions projected in the space itself to help people become better engaged in their environment and task domain. In particular, I focused on indoor navigation, a problem domain which is becoming increasingly important as the size and complexity of high-rise modern building complexes like hospitals, airports and shopping malls increases. The indoor environment is a particularly attractive research domain because there are better opportunities for controlled testing of different approaches to navigational assistance.
The handheld interface of Guiding Light uses a mini projector embedded in the device to project navigational information on the surrounding world. It works with a positioning device that uses an array of sensors to detect its location within a building as well as its bearing. Guiding Light uses an embedded tilt sensor to track the orientation of the phone. This allows us to present different information when the projector is held at different angles or different distances from the projected surface. The core metaphor in this interface is that of a flashlight, which reveals objects and information about the space it illuminates. This interface enables users to retrieve relevant spatial information by pointing the device at particular spaces the users are interested in – for example, directly on the path on which the users are walking.
Jaewoo Chung and Chris Schmandt