Bicycle Carry Bag Lets You Feel Directions
GPS and map functions on your phone are pretty useful for finding your way around, though you have to refer to a screen. Using one of the units in a car can give you audible directions. But they depend on a pre-planned route.
Josh Billions, a modder who loves to ride around Chicago on his bicycle wanted a way to get "lost" --that is, to try different routes on his commute to work. But he didn't want to have to keep referring to a map or listening to a GPS unit tell him he was wrong and to go back the other way. So he came up with a combination carry bag (essential for bicyclists) and direction finder, and called it MapBag.
The concept is pretty simple. The bag strap has vibrating alerts that the wearer can feel (because such bags are worn over the shoulder). You enter your destination and the vibrations tell the rider what direction the destination is relative to where they are. For example, if you feel a vibration on your right then the end point of the journey is in that direction. The great thing about it is that if you want to try a different route, or have an unplanned detour, you can still find your way without having to rejigger a map function or even look at the street signs (though it's probably still a good idea to look at traffic signals).
Billions was taking orders at the San Francisco Maker Faire in May, and if you email him he is taking orders for custom bags for $400. He is also planning to sell the circuit board kits so you can make one yourself.
Each weekday on TechNewsDaily, That's Useful! finds practical new gadgets, computing hardware, apps, appliances and other electronics that make sense and simply make life better.