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Tag Archives: GPS

GPS Adventure Box: Give Someone the Gift of an Adventure

It’s important to keep things in perspective. Sure, you didn’t get the laptop you wanted last Christmas, or the house that you thought you’d be living in at age 40. But things happen. That’s life, and the only thing that’s constant about it is that it keeps moving. So move along with it.

Sometimes people can be so wrapped up in work or with some trivial thing that they forget to look at the big picture and enjoy. If you know someone who’s currently at that stage in their lives, then give them the gift of adventure. Send them the GPS Adventure Box and give them the break that can change their current outlook.

That’s not how the GPS Adventure Box is being marketed, but that’s one creative (and very meaningful) way to use it.

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This Belt Vibrates In The Direction You’re Supposed To Go, So You Don’t Have To Pull Your Phone Out

triposo-travel-belt

Walking around with phone in hand, looking for directions, almost immediately brands you as a tourist. Nothing wrong with that, really, but you may want to be more inconspicuous for whatever reason. Enter the Triposo Travel belt. Connect it to your phone with a cable, launch the app, point to where you want to go, and put the phone back in your pocket. As soon as you start walking, the belt will buzz in any of four directions, guiding you from corner to corner until you reach your destination. You’ll look as comfortable as a local, while having absolutely no idea where you are.

It’s a smart idea and we hope they reach their modest funding goal of $10,000. It would have been nice if it were wireless, but we imagine that battery drainage concerns killed that initiative. If you want to pre-order your own, it’ll cost you $50.

[ Project Page ] VIA [ DamnGeeky ]

GPS Takes Woman 900 Miles In The Wrong Direction

The woman in question

A 67 year old woman from Belgium drove for two days, and over 900 miles in the wrong direction, ending up in Zagreb, Croatia, before she noticed something was wrong. What’s worse is that her intended destination was only about 90 miles away from her home. Faulty GPS directions, along with a lack of attention, were the culprits.
I was distracted, so I kept driving. I saw all kinds of traffic signs, first in French, then German and finally in Croatian, but I kept driving because I was distracted. Suddenly I appeared in Zagreb and I realized I wasn’t in Belgium anymore.

A lack of common sense as well, we think, might have also played a big part in this. It’s a somewhat timely story, especially in the wake of Apple Maps’ now infamous life-threatening erroneous GPS coordinates, a story which once again adds fuel to the conversation over how much reliance we should place on our electronics. We believe in using… your darn head! However that’s such a subjective and variable skill that it’s hard to know where to draw the line. In the Apple Maps case, where a remote town in Autralia was erroneously located in the middle of a potentially dangerous national park, we felt as though Apple was at fault; after all, how was an unfamiliar traveler to know Mildura (the town in question) was not where the map said it was. However in this case, the woman knew she was supposed to stay in Belgium. Surely someone who was more alert would have noticed they were suddenly in Germany… and then in Austria, before being surprised to find themselves in Croatia!

Regardless of where you stand on where the onus of accuracy falls, it’s good to see these stories pop up now and then, since they serve as reminders that if you do something stupid (like over-rely on your GPS), you might end up plastered all over the Internet in shame.

Apple Fixes “Life-Threatening” Bug, But Could There Be More?

Apple Maps, found in all iOS 6 devices, is quite probably the company’s most infamous failure to date. It’s been plagued with glitches, bugs and general design flaws from the get go. The latest, perhaps most embarrassing hiccup comes courtesy of a few unfortunate motorists in Australia who got stranded while looking for the town of Mildura. It turns out that Apple Maps gave them a location in the middle of the desert, some 44 miles away from the actual coordinates. To be more specific, the Australian Murray-Sunset National Park in the middle of summer is a hot, and inhospitable place; perhaps worst of all, the erroneous location of Mildura was in a zone absent of cellular coverage. Some motorists got there, presumably ran out of gas, and were unable to either call for help or drive away. In some cases, they were stranded for 24 hours. Sure enough, the police got in touch with the Cupertino giant to inform them of the potentially life-threatening situation, and the latest information is that the glitch has been fixed. Great.

But the damage and loss of trust in Apple’s product remains. What if there are other such “bugs”? Of course there are those who argue that one shouldn’t rely on GPS alone and we should use common sense. But in a situation like this, one that didn’t involve driving off road, are the motorists really to blame?

Apple’s stock has been mostly stagnant since April and a string of high profile layoffs makes one wonder if this could be the start of the world’s most valuable company’s decline, or just a regular bump on the road.

VIA [ CultOfMac ]

‘There’s No Place Like Home’ GPS Shoes Will Take You Places

GPS Shoes

Some people say they’re willing to go wherever the road will take them, but what if they get lost somewhere along the way? Well, if they have a pair of these There’s No Place Like Home GPS shoes, then they won’t have a problem, because these soles will help any wandering souls find their way, no matter where they want to go.

The GPS shoes are UK-based designer Dominic Wilcox’s newest project, which has been embedded with a GPS system so you can just feed in where you want to go (via a custom mapping program that’s been written especially for these shoes) and the shoes will tell you which direction to go after you click the heels together. (Sound familiar?) The right shoe measures how far (or close) you are to your destination, while the left shoe points you to the direction where you’re supposed to go.

Check out more images of the GPS shoes as well as a video from Wilcox explaining the entire concept.

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SPOT Connect Gives Your Smartphone Satellite Access

It’s all well and good that you’re the adventurous type, likely at any time to be found camping in the Amazons, spelunking in the Yucatan or trekking in the Himalayas, but bringing your phone with you on those adventures might just be more dead weight in your backpack. Cellular reception is not universal. Satellite phones are notoriously expensive, so maybe the SPOT Connect can be a good compromise.

Simply pair your smartphone with SPOT Connect, and get connected to a global satellite network that lets you send messages and GPS coordinates from virtually anywhere on the planet. Update Twitter and Facebook. Send email and text messages. Request non-emergency help from professional service providers. And in the case of a critical emergency, send an SOS message requesting emergency assistance.

You’re limited to 41 characters at a time for custom messages, and you can save a 120 character predefined message. Not a whole lot, but should be enough for quick updates. More important than letting your buddies in on which caves in Namibia offer the most guano/sq.ft. coverage is the fact that you can transmit your coordinates to the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Center (IERCC) in case of emergency. That right there is reason enough to spend the $169 that the device costs. Plus the $99 yearly for the subscription to the service.

It works with iPhone and Android devices.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ GearPatrol ]

Dick Tracy Phone Watch For Kids Is Also Homing Beacon

By David Ponce

You want to be a good parent and like technology? Put the two together and make your own life easier. The above Mobile Phone Watch lets your kid make and receive calls, but also has a GPS module. Why? So you can know where they are at the press of a button. You can also set up a Bluetooth-based alert that will sound an alarm as soon as your kids wander off range. Also, you can set up a virtual “fence” that the kids are not supposed to exit; if they do, the watch will send you a text. Finally, there’s a panic mode button that will send the GPS coordinates to the parents along with an SOS message.

That’s a lot of functionality in a fairly cheap package: $80. The hard part will be to convince your kids to actually wear the thing.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ DVice ]

Find My Car Smart App For The Truly Forgetful

By David Ponce

There are a ton of apps that help you find your car once you’ve forgotten where you parked it. They all suffer from a fatal flaw: you have to tell them where you’ve parked as you leave your car. Let’s be honest here: after a while, you’ll also start forgetting to do this. So that’s why the Find My Car Smart app one-ups them all. Using Bluetooth 4.0, the application works with a paired-up USB adapter that shuts off as you turn your car’s ignition off. The program on your iPhone 4S notices this and makes a quick note of your GPS coordinates. If you later can’t recall your spot, launch the app and find out. Yes, you do need an iPhone 4S as that’s the only iDevice that uses Bluetooth 4.0, now known as Bluetooth Smart.

The app and related USB dongle and car charger are on the one place where people with good ideas can connect directly with the marketplace: Kickstarter. However, the funding goals have been more than reached and you can get yourself the entire kit for as little as $30. Shipping in January 2012.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Engadget ]

DeLorme InReach Can Save You When Stranded In Nowhereland

By David Ponce

Surviving by yourself in inhospitable conditions is really only fun on TV. There’s only so much of your own pee you can drink, so many camel testicles you can eat and so many carcases you can crawl into before you realize that you really should have packed something like DeLorme’s InReach two-way satellite hookup before leaving for a trek across the Sahara. For $250 and a $10 a month subscription, you can send distress SMSs to pre-designated recipients along with your GPS coordinates, with a delivery confirmation. If you happen to also be carrying an Android phone, you can pair through Bluetooth and actually send and receive messages. There’s an SOS button in case all you’re able to do before passing out is to press a button. Finally, the InReach is rugged, waterproof, shock-resistant and buoyant.

[ Product Page ] VIA [ Crave ]