This design was part of my Master's thesis and is the result of a user driven design approach. My thesis examines the possibilities in involving people with dementia in a design process.
Landmark-based navigation instructions provide significant benefits over maps. The confusion is reduced by visual feedback on the correctness of the navigation. Landmark based navigation is easier to follow. In 1968, the first augmented reality system was introduced by Ivan Sutherland it was also the first virtual reality system. 40 years later this technology is made available on smartphones with real-time tracking capabilities. Today, various Augmented Reality browsers have appeared on the market, supporting location based tracking using GPS, digital compass and accelerometer. Augmented reality is a layer of data which is laid on top of reality as shown through a mobile camera. This technology can have different purposes, for example, yelp.com uses this technology in a mobile app that shows the user where to find a restaurant. I suggest using augmented reality in the wayfinding function because it is significantly easier to understand than a map, due to the confusion, a map might cause when being decoded. The interaction between the device and the user is essential for the design solution to have the desired effect. The device has to remind the user to take pictures every 700 meters. Furthermore what happens when the user forgets to carry the device? It is safe to assume that people with dementia do tend to forget their belongings. To alert the user the device vibrates before a prerecorded message reminds the user that it is time to take a picture. But, is that sufficient? What if the user is out in a noisy area, for example, dense traffic or that the user has a hearing impairment? What if the user carries a thick jacket and cannot fell the device vibrating in his or hers pocket? When analyzing these unpredictable situations it is obvious that the interaction between the device and the user is not as straightforward an issue as it might appear to be.