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07/10/2011 // INFO Leave a comment

Finding the right way with just a bag

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MapBag

We’ve featured some unique GPS-based navigation devices on these blogs before, but the MapBag device is even more remarkable as it is the ingenious work of just one person.

Made by American Josh Billions, MapBag is essentially an electronic-based compass device that is sewn into a strap of a messenger bag. The device consists of a small microcontroller (the Lilypad Ardunio), a GPS chipset, and a series of eight vibration motors.

Vibration alerts

Once you set the destination, using the GPS feature in an iPhone, the eight motors will vibrate you to your destination. The eight motors on the device correspond to positions on a normal compass, so that’s North, East, South, West. You should be able to feel the vibration of the motors as the strap of the bag touches your clothing or skin.

So for example, if you feel a vibration at the top of the MapBag device then you should go north.  The electronic compass gives constant haptic feedback through the strap fabric to allow you to stay on course to your final destination.

Second nature

Josh came up with the idea while cycling around Chicago where he lives.

“After using the MapBag for a few weeks, the slight pulses used to convey heading information become second nature. Most importantly, I no longer find myself using street signs or depending on landmarks to discern my position in the city’s grid.”

Watch the Youtube down below for more details



See also

UK second only to Germany in terms of bikes sold

Communicating on a cycle ride

from Going Going Bike – Auctions, Bike News, Cycle Stuff

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