Developed at the University of Amsterdam, the "vibrobelt" is meant to provide cyclists a "heads-up" navigator, allowing them to keep their eyes on the road after they have chosen their destination on a GPS smartphone, NewScientist.com reported Monday.
Vibrators in the belt give the biker directional nudges just before each turn, the researchers said.
Twenty volunteers in a test drove over unfamiliar routes both with a vibrobelt and with a standard GPS map on a handlebar-mounted smartphone.
While all the riders successful navigated to the destinations, researchers said they noted one difference: When questioned about landmarks they had passed, the vibrobelt users showed they were much more aware of their surroundings during the ride than those who were constantly glancing at a GPS screen.
Keeping bicyclists' eyes on the road could greatly increase riders' safety as they cycle among traffic, the researchers said.