Military Haptic Feedback Navigation Belt Found Its First Customer

The Royal Netherlands Army bought 20 for an undisclosed price.
Utku Kucukduner

Navigating through a potentially dangerous situation requires situational awareness. Army personnel has a plethora of technological devices to help the problem, but they all have their disadvantages.

Tech googles might be clunky and get in your way, backlit GPS systems might give away a combatant's position during nighttime (not to mention reduced situational awareness). 

Partnered with the Royal Netherlands Army, Dutch company Elitac offers a more intuitive approach with their haptic feedback belt.

Elitac is a company specialized in integrating electronics into textile wearables. Their main focus is on flexible electronics and communicating information with haptic impulses. Apart from the military, they also offer different products aimed at making quality-of-life improvements for health, safety, and sports.

In a deployment situation, situational awareness can make or break the situation. Their latest innovation Mission Navigation Belt is invented with this in mind. It helps soldiers feel their way through with haptic feedback.

Traditional navigation systems require soldiers to regularly take a peek at their screens or listen to audio feedback. It's not safe to use visual systems at night and auditory systems can be drowned out in a loud setting.

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In short, both have the potential to jeopardize the person navigating or they may give away the user's position in a critical situation. With MNB, however, soldiers do not have to use their hands, ears, or eyes.

Military Haptic Feedback Navigation Belt Found Its First Customer
Source: Elitac Wearables

Another big advantage of the system is its highly intuitive usage, there's almost no learning curve. The device can be utilized in almost any setting, be it land or water, vehicle or no vehicle, it just works. It also integrates seamlessly with the Royal Netherlands Army GPS systems without the need for additional batteries.

The belt can also be utilized as a communication device with Morse code should the need arise.