GPS Navigation Helmet Tugs Your Ear in the Direction It Wants You to Go

And you thought that lady from your car’s navigation system was stern. Human-machine interface Researchers from Kajimoto Laboratory came up with this GPS navigation helmet that doesn’t give directions in words, it “shows” the wearer which way to go by tugging on the appropriate ear, just like mom used to do. “Being pulled on the ear for navigation is a common situation when we were children,” researchers write, “and hence, the sensation should be quite intuitive.”

A pair of clips, one positioned on each ear, provide the tugging sensation. A previous version tugged on the arm, a sensation researchers felt was less intuitive than the whole ear thing.

Of course, it probably wouldn’t be all that great for driving applications, unless it could somehow convey that, say, a right turn is coming up in 800 feet (eight quick taps to the head?). But it might be OK for say, helping a sight- or hearing-impaired person navigate walking directions through a city.

[Kajimoto Laboratory via Treehugger]