Previous Health Tech Insider coverage of navigation wearables included augmented reality (AR) glasses and a smart backpack. Both technologies focused on helping blind and limited-vision people navigate streets. At CES 2023 this year, Tokyo-based Loovic inc. introduced a neck wearable that uses haptic signals and bone-conduction voice instructions to help people who have spatial cognition difficulty navigate when walking in unfamiliar areas. With its product still in development, Loovic currently focuses on the benefits of the service and the device without disclosing the specific enabling technologies or components.

A Loovic user doesn’t need to consult a smartphone app or wear special glasses when they are walking in a new area. While the specific technologies are not public, functional elements include GPS positioning and navigation software. Apparently users and third parties will also be able to add navigation cues to the content. It’s not clear how a user informs the device of their destination, whether via smartphone app or voice input. A key benefit of the Loovic device is that someone wearing the device can focus on the real world while moving about a new city instead of staring at their phone while they are trying to walk.

Depending on the final price and ongoing service costs (which Loovic has not disclosed), anyone who wants directional help walking in unfamiliar areas could benefit from the neck wearable. While the Loovic device sounds helpful for any traveler, Loovic is developing the technology for people with spatial cognition difficulties. One person’s convenience could be another’s necessity. Loovic plans to release the smartphone app in Spring 2023 followed by the device in 2024.