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— Marine

Historically-significant marine chronometer accompanied Darwin

In an age where accurate time measurement is taken for granted, the upcoming auction of an 1825 marine chronometer highlights just how far science has advanced in the last 200 years. The marine chronometer was a critical technology enabling navigation at sea. This 190 year-old example, which is heading for the auction block on July 9, has certainly witnessed its fair share of history in fulfilling that critical scientific role, having accompanied Charles Darwin on his epic five-year second voyage (1831-1836) to South America and the Galapagos Islands, the North American Boundary Expedition (1843-1846) which established the border between the USA and Canada and the 1857 survey of the Australian coastline which saw the naming of Darwin and the Fitzroy River. Given its stellar provenance, the chronometer seems ridiculously cheap if it does fall within its expected price range of … £30,000-50,000. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

SuperShoes tickle your toes to help you find your way

For today's smartphone-wielding urbanite, wandering aimlessly around the city streets is something of a rarity. There's Google Maps for when we don't know where to turn, ATM locators for when we need cash and then countless apps to tell us where to spend it. Looking to draw our eyes away from our smartphone screen and onto the world around us is Dhairya Dand, whose SuperShoes insoles use tickling patterns to communicate these typical smartphone functions to your feet. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

Lechal haptic footwear guides you by buzzing your feet

Three years ago, we heard about a prototype shoe that could be used to guide the wearer via haptic feedback. Designed by Anirudh Sharma, who was then a researcher at Hewlett-Packard Labs in Bangalore, India, the Lechal shoe was intended for use mainly by the blind. This week, however, Sharma and business partner Krispian Lawrence announced that the production version of the Lechal will soon be available for preorder, and it's aimed at helping all people navigate the city streets. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Inside app uses your phone's sensors for indoor navigation

Due to those pesky roofs that block access to satellites, smartphone-based GPS systems don't work for navigating indoor environments such as shopping malls. Some non-GPS alternatives are in development, including ones that incorporate rapidly-blinking LED lights or Wi-Fi signals. The just-announced Inside app, however, utilizes the phone's own standard sensors, and is reportedly accurate up to a distance of down to one meter (3.3 ft). Read More
— Science

Siemens' smart C-Walker guides the cognitively impaired

The C-Walker is a high-tech walking device that aims to safely guide people with cognitive impairments through public spaces like airports and shopping centers, reducing their reliance on visual signboards and avoiding obstacles in their way. Using onboard sensors, this "cognitive navigation prosthesis" monitors its environment in real time to figure out a path that poses little risk, actively re-planning it when it encounters problems like wet floors, or people dashing about. Aside from aiding senior citizens, the technology is expected to come in handy in factory settings, helping workers avoid danger zones and accidental collisions with machines. Read More
— Bicycles

Schwinn unveils $60 bike navigation device

Smartphone-based navigation systems can certainly help cyclists find their way around the city, but not everyone wants to risk attaching their precious phone to their rattly handlebars, nor do they like having to repeatedly glance down to read the map on its screen. That's why Schwinn has just announced its CycleNav device. It guides cyclists using verbal cues and simple directional arrows. Read More
— Wearable Electronics

NAVIGATE jacket brings GPS to life with LED lights and haptic feedback

We've seen GPS integrated into garments before, but this type of technology has never really caught on, undoubtedly because most folks already have car navigation systems, smartphones and standalone GPS units that do a better job. Maybe the key is in designing a GPS-based garment that offers some advantage over existing options, like pulling your face out of your LCD display so that you no longer have to stumble around the city half blind. The NAVIGATE jacket does just that, using LED guide lights and haptic feedback to spoon-feed you the directions. Read More
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