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The GPS Jacket

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Muscle Control System Readout

So, the GPS Jacket eh?
As I said in the previous post, this was the first project to get myself moving again. So what is this GPS jacket, and what the hell does it have to do with my muscle-controll-related thesis? First, maybe a hardware overview of the system would be in place. Click on the picture underneath here and mouse over “the notes” to find out what the different components do.

GPS Jacket Overview
Click on the picture for more info

This little experiment was (among other things) inspired by Luarence Malstaf’s Compass. It’s a wearable instalation art piece that I checked out at the Brussels Perfomatik festival a while ago. It looks like a piece of equipment out of the cold war (one of the reasons I loved it). Besides looking cool, it guides you around a (virtual) space using sensors and by swinging its own weight around – with you in the center. It’s pretty cool.

But, back to my GPS Jacket. Maybe a better name in the light of my thesis would be “The Feedback Jacket”. The idea here was to build a really quick prototype to explore another possiblity of “physical feedback”. So I tought up the idea of a screen-and-soundless GPS system that would guide you around by vibrating little pads in the armpieces of your jacket. It could be usefull for firefighters for example, who don’t have the time liberty to look or listen at their GPS while out in the field. But I always saw it as a device that would prevent you from getting lost, while still giving you the ability to wander around in an unknown city for example. That’s why it has an easy off button too. Tomorrow I’ll try to finish this and “steer” my little brother around the garden.

And that’s that for today.
Love,
Jim

Update:
So – I didn’t make it to “videotaping-my-brother”-stage today. Too bad. I wired up my speakers wrong and I needed help for somebody to point that out to me – so there where some delays. Everything is ready for a first testing run however – but by then, there was no light left outside for a video. So I decided to just call it a day for today, and have some nice family-time. Tomorrow however, it’s ON!

Update #2:
Allright, before I drop into bed. I forgot to write this down in the previous post. I have been pondering about a good interface to enter destinations into this GPS system. I like the idea that it’s a more simple, less intrusive, more “wander-friendly” version of a GPS. So I came up with the idea that – whenever you reset it – it will point you in the direction of your home. Then, there’s just one other button besides “reset / on-of”. And that is “record current location”. So you get to a place – let’s say the hotel you’re staying in. Press the remember button and turn off the feedback system. Then you go out and get lost. Then you turn on the feedback again, and find the way back to your hotel. And that’s that. Goodnight.

2 Responses to “The GPS Jacket”

  1. Blue_Boy Says:

    Dit werkt omgekeerd he.
    In dat (concept?) vertelt de jas waar hij is.
    De mijne vertelt waarheen je moet gaan.
    En het gaat eigenlijk vooral over het feedbacksysteem.
    (Kleine trillingen vs schermen en dergelijke)

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