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How can we best use landmarks to support older people in navigation?

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Although landmarks are an integral part of navigation, they have rarely been used explicitly within electronic pedestrian navigation aids. We describe a two-part study into the use of landmarks in such aids, using a set of field experiments. The first part investigated whether such devices can be effective for older adults (over 60 years old), who might particularly benefit from them due to declines in sensory, cognitive and motor abilities. The second part compared the effectiveness of different methods of presenting landmark information. We show that a pedestrian navigation aid based around landmarks is particularly useful for older people and demonstrate that text, speech and photographs are all effective ways of presenting landmark information, although speech on its own has some drawbacks. We found that different people prefer information to be presented in different modalities, indicating a need for personalisation, although multi-modality may also help to address this issue.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 January 2005

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