Background of Guide2Wear

Guide2Wear is a project funded by ERA-NET that aims at evaluating the potential of wearable devices such as smart watches or glasses for future travel services. Apart from analysing user requirements, we will develop a prototype for public transport navigation services. The objective is to improve co-modality for public transport passengers by providing travelling information, payment support and guidance.

Guide2Wear will analyse wearable devices and their potential impact and benefit for the future traveller. Different wearable information and communication solutions that are currently available, or close to be launched, as for example Google Glass or SmartWatch, will be the starting point for the project. The overall goal is to implement a public transport navigation system to showcase applicable mobile services for the traveller of the future using wearable devices. This navigation will be based on SMART-WAY1, a navigation system for public transportation, which was developed in an FP7 project funded by the EC. SMART-WAY calculates a route from door-to-door and is as comfortable as a car navigation system for passengers in public transportation. This system will be adapted to a wearable device as user interface, providing new functions such as support in the use of a ticket machine or guidance to the relevant platform based on the device camera, if available.

Different user groups and their specific needs will therefore be identified. One group will probably be based on age, since it can be expected that young adults will have other preferences compared to seniors. The gender aspect and user groups with special needs will also be considered. Thereafter, detailed data on mobility behaviour needs to be incorporated into the system, such as distances or interchanges of trips, how users combine different transport modes or how they change their behaviour when using support services like navigation systems or electronic ticketing.

Scientific and/or technical quality, relevant to the topics addressed by the call

Concept and objectives

Mobility can be considered a basic need for people living in Europe and elsewhere. Over the last century, the transport system has been dominated by the antipodes of individual car transport and public transport as well as between confirmed car drivers and public transport subscribers. During the last decade, information systems emerged to either support car transport (GPS based navigation systems) or public transport (navigation, real-time information, smart cards, and mobile phone tickets). However today, we are facing a significant change of the traditional transport system due to new “semi-public” transport modes like bike-, ride- or car-sharing becoming more and more important across Europe. Moreover, many European cities experience a “renaissance” of walking and cycling (nowadays as electric cycling) that is also combined with other transport modes.

Travelling with more than one mode of transport, however, makes a journey and payment fairly complex. Currently, information systems for multi- or intermodal travelling are still fragmentary and not adapted to the (future) travellers’ needs. This is also a reason, why some user groups are still reluctant to use public transport.

However, there are some applications available such as intermodal routing apps or integrated smartcards for both public transport and bike- or car-sharing schemes. The state-of-the-art navigation functionalities differ significantly from systems, providing pre-trip information to solutions providing interactivity and real-time reaction on unexpected situations as known from car navigation. But in contrast to car drivers, public transport users, who either walk or cycle to and from the station or bus stop, cannot use tools which are permanently fixed. Instead they might have to carry it in their hand or pocket. For the traveller it could be very difficult to keep an eye on a smartphone, especially if the person is carrying luggage or using a walking aid. Wearable devices as navigation tools may help to solve this problem. Besides, with respect to the rise of smart cities and ubiquitous computing, the next generation of information and communication technologies will dramatically change our way of receiving information. In the transport sector of the future, new wearable devices will actively interact with transport vehicles, information systems, access and payment points etc.

Guide2Wear will analyse these wearable devices and their potential impact and benefit for the future traveller. Different wearable information and communication solutions that are currently available, or close to be launched, as for example Google Glass or SmartWatch, will be the starting point for the project.

The overall goal is to implement a public transport navigation system to showcase applicable mobile services for the traveller of the future using wearable devices. This navigation will be based on SMART-WAY[1], a navigation system for public transportation, which was developed in an FP7 project funded by the EC. SMART-WAY calculates a route from door-to-door and is as comfortable as a car navigation system for passengers in public transportation. This system will be adapted to a wearable device as user interface, providing new functions such as support in the use of a ticket machine or guidance to the relevant platform based on the device camera, if available.

Different user groups and their specific needs will therefore be identified. One group will probably be based on age, since it can be expected that young adults will have other preferences than seniors. The gender aspect will also be considered and user groups with special needs. Thereafter detailed data on their mobility behaviour needs to be incorporated into the system, such as distances or interchanges of their trips, how they combine different transport modes or how they change their behaviour when using support services like navigation systems or electronic ticketing.

Currently, an in-depth investigation into intermodal travellers’ requirements, needs and behaviour is not available due to restricted data collection methods. Since detailed knowledge on individual mobility patterns as well as on new intermodal and multimodal mobility patterns is restricted, Guide2Wear will analyse the travellers’ behaviour by using innovative smartphone based data collection tools, e.g. an intermodal tracking app developed by InnoZ. With these tools, we are able to automatically analyse routes and distances of trips, even if they include different transport modes. Since smartphone tracking data is considered as personal data, the project will actively address privacy concerns by high privacy standards and by giving the users’ the complete control over their travel data.

Despite all attempts to provide a more and more unified system of law, the regulatory framework dealing with these topics differs from state to state in Europe. Therefore the related social and legal questions dealing for example with data privacy but also with responsibility and compensation will be identified and analysed.

Topics addressed by the call Objectives of Guide2Wear
Availability, accessibility, affordability, and acceptability of mobility services The base navigation system will be developed according to customer needs. Thus the device will support passengers with relevant information
Seamless travel options for door-to-door journeys The system provides information to support door-to-door travel by identifying the relevant entrance and exit, the way to or from these stops to origin and destination and all changes. Navigation systems, journey planners, real time data provision and e-ticketing systems are evaluated and improvements will be defined.
Requirements and needs of different user groups
Products and services for the traveller of the future
Always accurate information for travellers
Relevant fields of research from the call Objectives of Guide2Wear
Travel time, Travel options and costs Travel time is reduced especially in unexpected situations, new travel options are provided automatically.
Incidents/Route conditions
Public Transport stations / Interchange Facilities
Information for disabled persons/social inclusion
Relevant services from the call Objectives of Guide2Wear
Mobile, integrated, intermodal travel assistance The wearable device is mobile, public transport is supported as well as car/bike/walk for the first and last step
Incidents / Route conditions

Progress beyond the state-of-the-art

State of the art in public transport support services

There is a large variety of public transport information, access, navigation and ticketing systems throughout Europe, providing a wide range of pre-trip and on-trip mobility services. On-trip public transport information provision is no longer limited to collective means of display, as there are services for mobile devices using localisation data, for example: the mobile timetable application of Schweizerische Bundesbahn[2], Öffi[3], or the DB Navigator[4] of Deutsche Bahn.

Public transport navigation is a more sophisticated approach compared to pure information service. As known from car navigation systems, an on-going passenger position and scheduled route adjustment takes place. Some examples working with this approach are Google Maps | Transit[5], the EU project Co-Cities[6], or SMART-WAY1. Most of the existing navigation systems provide very little interaction between users and the application, passenger-to-vehicle assignment is not precise, rescheduling on unexpected events is not appropriate. SMART-WAY is a navigation system on the cutting edge, able to handle unsuspected events (e.g. deviations, missed changes). Fraunhofer IVI has access to the technology and is able to integrate additional functions. Therefore, SMART-WAY will build the base for Guide2Wear.

For technical e-ticketing solutions, three concepts currently dominate the market: RFID-based smart card solutions (e.g. OysterCard[7] in London; SL Access-kortet[8] in Stockholm), mobile phone ticketing systems (e.g. Handy-Ticket Deutschland[9]) as well as advanced Check-in/Check-out systems (e.g. Touch&Travel[10]).

State of the art in analysing mobility behaviour

Traveller support systems generally improve the access to intermodal mobility networks. However, knowledge on success factors, user requirements or effects on mode choice is still restricted. Until recently, test persons completing “analog” travel diaries have been the state-of-the-art of mobility research. However, this method is fairly labour intensive for the test person and due to its retrospective nature descriptions particularly of intermodal trips are often fragmentary. Therefore, several research institutions have developed tools that automatically track the test users’ trips.

The projects MODE[11] and MOTION-FF[12] (coordinated by BOKU) used data from passive GPS-trackers for developing methods for automatic mode detection. These models are based on location and acceleration data. Data for testing the developed algorithms were taken from the project MobiFIT[13] where respondents filled out written diaries and/or carried the GPS-devices in different combinations for several days. The algorithms are advanced in the on-going project PROVAMO[14] based on data from smartphones and passive GPS-trackers. Field tests generate insights and knowledge on survey designs, response rates, acceptance, data protection issues, data quality, effort and cost for data processing and supervision of respondents.

The InnoZ has developed a tracking tool (InnoZ-Tracker) consisting of a smartphone app for automatic trip monitoring determining transport modes and a user interface for personal corrections and the possibility to delete trips, which the user does not want to be used for research.

State of the art in wearable devices

Most routing applications and public transportation information systems are based on conventional smartphones as output devices. In some projects, watches are used to support special user groups with appropriate information. Within the SenioMobil[15] project, for example, a special, configurable watch for elderly people is being developed featuring localisation and pedestrian navigation, emergency calls, and phone calls to supporters or service providers.

For Google Glass[16], most of the existing apps are related to news, data and photo sharing, support of daily routine such as cooking etc. Currently, Google Glass is not used to present public transport navigation information to a user.

Besides glasses and watches, a variety of wearable devices exist, ranging from shoe soles, gloves, headphones, intelligent shirts, finger rings, and badges to belly pockets[17]. Most of these devices are limited to very specific functions such as health and fitness monitoring, communication recording or game controlling. Navigation services are quite unusual on these devices.

Progress of Guide2Wear

Guide2Wear will be the first project to analyse and exploit the potentials of using wearable devices as user interfaces for mobility services related to intermodal door-to-door transport including various modes. With wearable devices, navigation and guidance will be greatly enhanced by new ways of user interaction. The proposed prototype focusses on the public transport part of the trip and will be based on most recent research results in the fields of door-to-door navigation and ticketing using real time public transport data as discussed in chapter 1.2.1.

The research will provide profound information on relevant user groups and their special behaviour, preferred transport modes and requests. In addition, this information will be linked to micro- meso- and macro-level behavioural drivers such as specific attitudes towards mobility and the use of mobility-enhancing devices. This allows for an improved insight in the most relevant factors influencing group mobility behaviour. As a result customer needs will be at the forefront when developing the new product focusing on the three key elements outlined by Blank (2013).[18]

  • Desirability: the new product or service must be desirable, i.e. a person wants to use it
  • Purpose: the new product or service must have a useful purpose, i.e. a person will use it
  • User Experience: the new product or service must provide customer satisfaction, i.e. a person is happy using it.

Depending on the group characteristics, wearable devices supporting transportation can increase the use of environmental friendly modes, such as public transport or bikes. Besides navigation services and payment facilitation, the integration of further functionality will be addressed as well.

Additional functionality is a relevant research theme for all users but important especially in combination with special user group requirements. Tourists for example can be supported by additional information related to specific request of a transport system, they might not be aware of (stop request button, hand signals, use of ticket machines, etc.). People with reduced mobility might need additional information concerning accessibility. Networkers will probably be interested in community information describing interesting topics, meeting points or events along the route. The identification of this additional functionality for a range of different user groups will take Guide2Wear beyond the state of the art.

The prototype will be available as a result of Guide2Wear. It serves as base for further development and implementation of Guide2Wear systems in various environments with a focus on transport services. The prototype is the first step to show the technological opportunities and the market potential of such solutions for transport applications.

[1] http://www.smart-way.mobi/

[2] http://www.sbb.ch/fahrplan/mobile-fahrplaene/mobile-apps.html

[3] http://oeffi.schildbach.de/index.html

[4] http://www.bahn.de/i/view/DEU/en/prices/individual_planning/railnavigator_germany.shtml

[5] http://www.google.com/intl/en/landing/transit/#dmy

[6] http://www.co-cities.eu

[7] https://oyster.tfl.gov.uk/oyster/entry.do

[8] http://sl.se/en/Visitor/Tickets/Sl-Access/

[9] http://www.handyticket.de/index.html

[10] http://www.touchandtravel.de/

[11] http://www2.ffg.at/verkehr/projekte.php?id=767&lang=en&browse=programm

[12] http://www2.ffg.at/verkehr/projekte.php?id=781&lang=en&browse=programm

[13] http://www2.ffg.at/verkehr/projekte.php?id=593&lang=en&browse=programm

[14] http://www2.ffg.at/verkehr/projekte.php?id=841&lang=en&browse=programm

[15] http://wilddesign.info/ambient-assisted-living-seniomobil/7126/

[16] http://glass-apps.org/google-glass-application-list

[17] https://www.abiresearch.com/press/wearable-computing-devices-like-apples-iwatch-will

http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229347

[18] Blank, S. (2013). The four steps to the epihany: Successful strategies for products that win. K&s Ranch.