Guided by music: pedestrian and cyclist navigation with route and beacon guidance

Robert Albrecht*, Riitta Väänänen, Tapio Lokki

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Music listening and navigation are both common tasks for mobile device users. In this study, we integrated music listening with a navigation service, allowing users to follow the perceived direction of the music to reach their destination. This navigation interface provided users with two different guidance methods: route guidance and beacon guidance. The user experience of the navigation service was evaluated with pedestrians in a city center and with cyclists in a suburban area. The results show that spatialized music can be used to guide pedestrians and cyclists toward a destination without any prior training, offering a pleasant navigation experience. Both route and beacon guidance were deemed good alternatives, but the preference between them varied from person to person and depended on the situation. Beacon guidance was generally considered to be suitable for familiar surroundings, while route guidance was seen as a better alternative for areas that are unfamiliar or more difficult to navigate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-145
Number of pages25
JournalPersonal and Ubiquitous Computing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2016
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Cycling
  • Music
  • Navigation
  • Spatial audio
  • Walking


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