Working together towards a safer society.

Working together towards a safer society.

Welcome to Teijin Smart Safety - a team of experts supported by the Teijin Group.

Military

In the field, accurate situational awareness can make the difference between life and death, mission success and mission failure; our covert navigation assistance provides military personnel a safer passage through mission environments. Our team have created the Mission Navigation Belt which gives navigation instructions via haptic feedback - while eliminating the use of a screen or voice. This way, we’re making it safer for military professionals to navigate freely without attracting any unwanted attention.

Mission Navigation Belt

Status: Pilot phase

This is the next step in a safer, more intuitive method of navigation. The Mission Navigation Belt (MNB) is a lightweight belt that allows a soldier to sense waypoint navigation cues through haptic feedback. Its primary objective is to keep the soldier’s hands, eyes and ears free, allowing them to fully focus on their surroundings, their safety and their mission. The MNB improves navigation while safety remains uncompromised.

 

Situational awareness – the challenge

Out in the field, the MNB helps the soldier to navigate while maintaining good situational awareness. Waypoint navigation traditionally required the soldier to check a screen and listen to audible cues. This forced them to take their focus away from their surroundings and thereby compromise their safety. Meanwhile their night screen and audible cues also inadvertently exposed the soldier’s position.

Haptic feedback navigation

The solution is haptic feedback – vibrational feedback applied to the body to communicate navigational information. This improves situational awareness by keeping the hands, eyes and ears free for primary tasks - No need for the soldier to stop and check a screen, and no risk of audio cues being drowned out by other sounds. Your safety is our mission.

 

Mission Navigation Belt: Here’s how it works

The MNB is a lightweight, ergonomic belt worn around the waist. It connects with the soldier’s existing GPS-based system and communicates navigational instructions to the wearer (through a set of tiny vibrating motors). By positioning it around the waist, the precise nature of the vibrating patterns make navigation extremely intuitive; the soldier can reach the destinations quickly and safely, while maintaining maximum focus on their environment. The MNB can be used to navigate in any way on water and terrain. This means the soldier can change from one mode of transport to the next and keep navigating seamlessly.

Benefits

  • Uncompromised situational awareness through more efficient use of the senses, the navigational information is conveyed through touch. This frees up the soldier’s hands, eyes and ears, allowing them to better focus on their surroundings - and their objectives.
  • With no necessity to look at a screen or audible cues to listen to, the directives can be felt by the operator under any circumstance, even while running or crossing difficult terrain or surrounded by loud noise.
  • Intuitive navigation; navigation cues felt around the waist are easy to follow and require almost no learning curve. Teijin's partner Elitac Wearables have developed unique algorithms to activate vibrating motors in precise patterns - creating instinctive, silent, and highly perceptible communication without being intrusive.
  • The Mission Navigation Belt connects seamlessly to the soldier’s navigation equipment. For example, the Royal Netherlands Army combined the MNB with their VOSS Soldier System.

Solving traditional navigation shortcomings

Major Van Veen from the Royal Netherlands Army (Defence Centre of Expertise for Soldier and Equipment) explains; ‘Nowadays, soldiers have access to incredible hi-tech navigation systems,’ he says, ‘but these all require soldiers to keep checking their screens constantly. This makes an already critical job even more dangerous.’

The Mission Navigation Belt was developed to avoid reduced situational awareness and has proved its value over repeated field tests: Soldiers report that they were more aware of their surroundings and found the navigational cues extremely intuitive.

Major Van Veen continued; ‘They were also pleased the belt was comfortable to wear,’ he says, ‘and adjusted to size perfectly. Equally important for me, the belt connects effortlessly to our soldier system - it’s truly plug and play. We’re looking forward to using the belts on training exercises and real-life missions.’

Field-tested

The Mission Navigation Belt has been tested extensively by soldiers of the Royal Netherlands Army in day and night scenarios, on land, and upon high-speed watercrafts. Here’s what the team on the ground had to report;

‘The Mission Navigation Belt is extremely comfortable; There’s no hinder to my performance, and I feel nothing under my clothes and equipment except for the vibrating signals.’

‘The tactile feedback 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 landmarks and hand signals.’

‘Even in full battle gear on a boat at high speeds and with choppy water, the vibrating signals could be felt while wearing the Mission Navigation Belt.’

‘Particularly on vessels with zero navigation system, the tactile navigation added value.’

Features

  • GPS-based waypoint navigation under all circumstances - On land and water, on foot or in a moving vehicle, regardless of which direction the operator faces, even when the movement direction changes quickly or slowly. 
  • Waterproof, durable and utterly resilient. 
  • Lightweight, ergonomic design and fully adjustable to size: The Mission Navigation Belt comes in different sizes and contains patent pending technology that allows precise sizing adjustments without compromising haptic feedback. The belt fits with precise adjustment in fitting, and only needs to be done once. 
  • No extra battery required: MNB is powered by the connected system of the soldier. 
  • Covert communication: By using pre-defined tactile commands or tactile Morse signalling. MNB becomes an extension of the soldier’s system user-interface and can be configured to communicate additionally important information from the soldier system. 
  • The MNB is compatible with various equipment configurations such as battle belts.

Interested in the MNB?

Are you interested in the Mission Navigation Belt? Connect with us via the form below.

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