Let’s imagine that you’ve tried all of the brilliant techniques I laid out in the previous post and you’re still finding this whole sense of direction thing something of a challenge.
Or, as a friend of mine puts it, “You couldn’t find your arse with both hands.” (Not judging, sympathising).
Below are a few new bits of technology that could just give you the edge in getting to grips with the outside world. Or that may just get used once and then be banished to that drawer you have that you keep the rest of your useless crap in.
An Indian company (from a Hindi word meaning ‘Take Me Along’), Lechal’s shoes and insoles started out as navigational aids for the blind. Now very much targeted at a fitness and lifestyle market, part of the proceeds from each sale still go towards subsidising a pair for a visually-challenged person.
Sensors in the footwear are synched to Google Maps on the wearer’s smartphone, and will vibrate in either the left or right shoe to tell you when and which way to turn as you navigate your way between two points.
They can also be used as a wearable fitness trainer and track your distance covered and calorie count as well as buzzing to tell you to speed up or slow down depending on which workout you’ve selected.
SmrtGRiPS by Boreal Bikes.
Another inspired use of haptic technology (which is a word I’ve just learned. Means ‘touch technology’ apparently,) SmrtGRiPS are very similar in concept as the shoes above, but this time for your bike. More vibrating sensors and smartphone Bluetoothing lets you cycle around a city without the obvious dangers of taking your eyes off the road to glance down at maps. The handlebars will simply buzz whichever way you need to go-left to go left, right to…you get it.
Another great feature for the likes of us is the Bike Finder, which lets you quickly locate a lost bike using a distance indicator on your phone app. Or, it can even activate an alarm on the grips, which will sound and let everyone in the area know why you can’t have nice things.