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GuideShoes is a wearable system that explores how aesthetic forms of expression can be used to deliver direct information through a background channel. Based on a described locational goal, GuideShoes provides musical navigational cues in the background, thus reducing the problem of cognitive information overload. These musical patterns or emons (small emotionally-charged bits of information) act as timely navigational cues in an open space such as a street. GuideShoes system tests our hypothesis that aesthetic forms of expression can be used to reduce cognitive information overload by providing useful information about a particular task.

The GuideShoes system consists of a wearable part - a leg mounted pack equipped with a GPS, wireless spread spectrum radio, and a custom-built motherboard plus a pair of FM radio headphones - and a base station that acts as the central unit for path selection, data processing, and pattern retrieval/playback. The emons are produced by a MIDI synthesizer, and delivered to the user using an FM transmitter - at the place and time where you need them.

Research supervisor: Glorianna Davenport
Concept/Implementation: Paul Nemirovsky
With Dan Overholt and undergrads
Richard Tibbetts & Jason Vivas.

For more information on emons and GuideShoes see:

CHI'99: Short article

CSNLP-8: Full article

S.M. Thesis