Getting lost on foot could soon be a thing of the past, thanks to a pioneering new GPS system for pedestrians.
Called Actuated Navigation, the so-called ‘cruise control for pedestrians’ will help your brain to steer your limbs, no matter whether or not you know where you’re going.
Developed by a team from the universities of Hannover, Stuttgart and Munich, Actuated Navigation combines GPS with electrical stimulation of the muscles to help steer the lost. Simply put, electrodes deliver weak electrical charge to the skin, contracting relevant muscles to make you change direction.
In a paper entitled ‘Cruise Control for Pedestrians: Controlling Walking Direction Using Electrical Muscle Stimulation’ the team behind the technology wrote that “actuated navigation may free cognitive resources, such that users ideally do not need to attend to the navigation task at all."
In a test the team were able to direct a student around a park but it is hoped that Actuated Navigation could be used in future to keep pedestrians safe, especially when visiting foreign cities.
More tests of the system are currently being planned as not all test subjects responded to the technology.