Navigo digital compass gives directions with vibration
July 18, 2013
Having a GPS-enabled device with a built-in digital compass in your pocket is nothing special these days, but there's still room for improvement when it comes to the usability of these functions. The Navigo rises to this challenge by putting a digital compass on your wrist and giving it the ability to guide you using vibrations, as well as link wirelessly to mapping information on your smartphone.
The Navigo measures 72.7 mm x 35 mm x 55.3 mm (2.9 in x 1.4 in x 2.2 in) and is mostly made of a pliable plastic, so it will fit over almost any wrist. Removing a hidden cap on one end reveals a USB port that can charge the bracelet or update its software through a computer.
Aside from a basic watch function that displays the time, the Navigo has three modes, which the wearer can cycle through using a button on the side. Compass mode will simply indicate which direction is north, proximity mode will point the wearer directly towards a preset destination or another Navigo device and navigation mode (where the device is linked via Bluetooth to your smartphone), will guide you to any destination that has been saved on the phone.
A digital arrow on the front of the bracelet provides a visual heading, but that doesn't mean you'll have to stare at the Navigo the whole time you're walking around. Four vibrating points are arranged on the inside of the bracelet to indicate when a person is going the right way or needs to turn. Even with their hand down at their side, the vibrations are designed to ensure the wearer always knows which direction they need to go.
The designers are working with Quirky to begin manufacturing the Navigo and bring it to consumers.