Mission Navigation Belt
The Mission Navigation Belt is developed together with the Royal Netherlands Army, and designed to provide users with intuitive information in critical situations. Information is provided directly to the skin keeping hands, eyes and ears free. The Mission Navigation Belt can be used to transmit information regarding navigation, communication, and warning signals.
In 2013, Elitac won the Defence Innovation Competition to improve soldiers situational awareness during complex military operations. In close cooperation with end-users of the Royal Netherlands Army, we developed a wearable with integrated vibration motors to let soldiers feel direction. The user can follow a route along different waypoints, and feels the direction and distance of the next waypoint. The navigation information is presented discrete and intuitively, allowing the user to react immediately in critical situations. The concept was successfully tested in a day and night scenario.
“The Mission Navigation Belt is very comfortable, I was not hindered in my performance and I did not feel the belt under my clothes except for the vibration signals”
“The Mission Navigation Belt is beneficial for navigation, especially in the dark. You are more certain of your exact location and the direction you are going and less dependent on land marks and hand signals”
The promising results of the field-tests with the MNB led to the further development of the Mission Navigation Belt.
While the first proof of concept only contained vibration motors, the MNB 2.0 has all electronics fully integrated and can be used as a stand-alone system. The MNB contains an integrated microprocessor, battery, GPS, compass, 7 vibration motors for waypoint navigation and 1 vibration motor for system feedback. A bluetooth connection can be easily set-up using an NFC tag in the shirt, or placed elsewhere on the equipment.
Waypoint route application
With our smartphone application, you can easily create waypoint routes, share these with your team-members and load the routes onto the shirt.
Hereafter the shirt can run the route by itself. Furthermore, we connected a remote button module to directly interact with the system, for example to pause the route, skip a waypoint or add a rendez-vous point.
Tested in the field
The MNB 2.0 has been tested with the Royal Netherlands Marines, in a pioneering scenario where the MNB was used for navigation on water and land. Again results were positive; The system was robust and easy to use. Furthermore it proved to be very flexible and adaptive for implementation of new features, even in-between the day- and night scenario. The integrated electronics did not lead to extra pressure points and the system remained comfortable with full equipment.
The shirt offers an easy and reliable way of navigation. Vibrations are given in the direction of the next waypoint. Distance can be distinguished by the number of vibrations.
The shirt gives a clear signal when the waypoint is reached and automatically moves on to the next.
The navigation application can be used for waypoint navigation and guidance to a rendez-vous point or to patrol an area. If a group is separated, the individual soldiers can be directed to the established rendez-vous point.
With the covert communication application, group communication is possible by sharing pre-defined tactile patterns. Short signals can be sent discreetly without being seen or heard.
Thus communication remains possible even in conditions with low visibility when emission of light or sound is undesired.
- Laminated electronics, seamlessly integrated into textile
- Stretchable and bendable
- Electronics are washable (hand wash or 30 °C )
- Sweat resistant
- Bluetooth or USB connection
- HID connection to all common devices and operating systems (mobile and desktop)
- Powerful ARM processor
- Shirt runs on ‘TactileOS’ operating system, which accommodates future applications or custom work
- Integrated compass and GPS
- Battery time at least 8 hours (depends highly on use)
- Weight: ± 200-250 gram
- Sizes: XS to XXL, or can be laminated into existing attire
Interested in using the Mission Navigation Belt?
We build custom solutions for partners who want to integrate our technology in their system. Contact us with your ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org.