Orientation in public spaces using the Rudder? A matter of common sense!

Orientation in public spaces using the Rudder? A matter of common sense!

16 June 2020
Discover the Rudder, vOOg’s low-tech invention that revolutionizes pedestrian orientation!

When you have to walk to a specific destination, there are a few possibilities, but they don’t turn out to be the most suitable!

That’s right, you can use your smartphone. But how many times has it proved unreliable because of the quality of its orientation, its battery or its mediocrity in the expression of space?

Some people therefore continue to consult the information panels and static maps that are available around them, but with the difficulty of understanding the space correctly and orienting themselves in it.

As for the signage in place, it is not adapted to multiple destinations! There are a lot of chances that you’ll find a lot of things, except what you’re looking for.

The solution? The Rudder of vOOg!

The Rudder
The Rudder, a perfectly low-tech and totally autonomous French invention (©vOOg)

In order to meet this need for reliability and improved user experience, Matthieu Audebaud and Sébastien Noll, founders of the Lyon-based company vOOg, have developed a solution called the Rudder. It is an urban furniture fixed to the ground in the shape of a dial, located at eye level. On this dial, you will find the cartography of the area concerned, but also all the centres of interest which are listed and numbered in a legend.

Its functioning is very simple! The pedestrian locates his destination and the corresponding number in the map legend. By taking the Rudder in full hand, the user rotates it so that it places the selected number at the top of the dial. His final destination is now in front of him. All he has to do is walk straight ahead in the displayed direction. Fast, visual and efficient! 

This short video made by vOOg shows you in details how the Rudder works.

Who is the Rudder of vOOg aimed at?

The Rudder is intended for any entity that wishes to guide and orient its visitors or shoppers efficiently within its space. It has been designed for any environment, both outdoor and indoor. The solution of vOOg can thus be placed near public transport stations, in new residential, commercial or business areas or even within recreational and leisure parks! The possibilities are multiple, always with this implementation efficiency.

Where can you test the solution yourself?

The Rudder is already present in experimentation in some large cities and districts of France. For example, you can find it in Paris, near the Gare de Lyon or at the Gare routière de Paris Nord. If you are more from the South, you can try it in Lyon on the square in front of the Grand-Hôtel Dieu and at the exit of the Metro at the stations La Soie and Charpennes. The Rudder was also available in Saint-Etienne during the 11th edition of the Design Biennial in 2019, and was installed using the PLUG solution. Le Rudder also guides you step by step in Avignon, near the velopop’ Jaurès station. Other projects are obviously planned in other cities in France and around the world.

What do the experts think of this sustainable solution?

Sonia Lavadinho, an international expert on the subject of walkability and pedestrian strategy, is full of praise! This specialist has been working for many years on public policies to promote active modes and the multimodal city. Her goal is to design innovative and sustainable public spaces, and the Rudder is the perfect answer! According to her, the solution designed by vOOg has several advantages.

The Rudder & Sonia Lavadinho
Sonia Lavadinho presents the Rudder (©Auvermoov)

1. The Rudder offers a holistic vision of the environment around us, letting us discover all the resources at our disposal, unlike the smartphone which presents a self-centered vision focused on a screen. With the Rudder, the space manager really chooses the resources he wants to highlight, which are the places of public interest.

2. This urban furniture is a sustainable, low-tech street furniture that requires no electricity to operate! It is a solution accessible to all, simple to understand and easy to use. In terms of implementation, it does not need a specific location and the Rudder occupies little space. So it’s a great benefit for our public spaces! 

3. The Rudder promotes natural, leisurely walking. Our attention is therefore dedicated to our environment, allowing a better orientation in space. The user experience is thus enhanced!

And you, what do you think of the Rudder of vOOg?

A passer-by said: “I discovered this furniture a few months ago. I came to try it out and found it extremely accessible, easy, and you could immediately understand where you wanted to go. And where to find the street we were looking for! With the Rudder, I have a visual and physical indication!” 

At Inseetu, we are on the lookout for innovative solutions that improve the experience of users of public spaces. The Rudder is, in our opinion, an obvious, 100% mechanical solution that makes sense and counterbalances the digital era in which we are immersed. This sustainable and amazing furniture presents in one place, and in a dynamic way, all the resources of the space concerned. No more need to use your smartphone or conventional maps to find your way to your destination. With the Rudder, no more hassle, your path is ahead of you!

The vOOg solution also has the advantage of making the user aware of his environment, in an active and alert way, by highlighting the heritage, resource buildings, architecture and all the reference elements within the public space. Ask yourself how to get to a destination using, for example, Google Maps. It’s true, your path is all mapped out, but your attention is dedicated to your screen and to respecting the indications given. So you’re missing out on your surroundings!

We also have no doubts about the possible application of such equipment with the ingredients it contains from its conception. The Rudder has a real capacity to be declined and to develop progressively a more and more complete range, with the aim of reinforcing and ensuring the quality of the experience of the users. This range could be extended in the form of milestones, directional relays or even be adapted for a younger public in perpetual search of landmarks in the places it frequents. A playful, easy-to-access and interactive solution to make our children aware of the elements around them.

The opinion is therefore unanimous among shoppers, visitors and mobility experts. Given the excitement the solution is generating, we expect to see the Rudder spreading to many public spaces, and why not, near you! So if you manage a space, and are concerned about the experience of your visitors, think about the Rudder of vOOg!

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