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GPS+gyro gazetteer glasses

GPS-coupled gyro specs let you know, when activated, the names (and trivia, if desired) of various places you'd be looking directly at if you could see through earth/over the horizon/through that cloudy or daylit sky.
  [vote for,

You're walking to work on another humdrum Monday morning, feeling restive amid urban drabness. Donning a pair of specs, you look down for a moment and stop cold in your tracks, looking to passersby like you're transfixed with a grass tuft or a piece of litter. But, as you hold your fascinated gaze, the inside of your glasses flashes the words 'Katmandu, Nepal, 20:13'. You ponder the words with a quiet smile, and then move your head slightly to the left. The words change to 'Lake Baikal, Russia'... You murmur a word aloud, and spend the rest of your walk rapt to a narrative about the lake's history, wildlife, &c.

You've just used your new GPS-coupled gazetteer specs. Thumbing through an atlas or an encyclopedia can be great on a rainy day, but a sense of detachment from the real places you're reading about can dull the experience. How much better would it be to look around your feet and see just what faroff cities you're staring at on the other side of earth? Or to look into a daytime sky to see what you're missing in all the glare? Your GPS specs get a fix on your position on (or near) earth's surface, and gyros inside the specs assess the direction of your gaze (you can also set the specs to infer surface directions only); processor and memory take care of the rest, offering you a customizable smorgasbord of information about places far 'above' and far 'below' your little spot in earth's lithosphere.

n-pearson, Jul 01 2003

What's That Hill? http://www.halfbake...7s_20That_20Hill_3f
Same idea. [phoenix, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 06 2004]


       Category check, please. I suggest Product:GPS, but could be wrong.   

       And answer the obvious question as to how the glasses know what sort of range information to return.
phoenix, Jul 01 2003

       I think you'd preset it for basic prefs (i.e. which features -- cities, major peaks, lakes &c. -- you want it to point out, whether you want local times displayed, whether the computer should bias toward the farthest or nearest of features colinear with your position, such as Timbuktu vs. the moon, &c.), and then use voice or shirtclip-control buttons to choose more in-depth info on the fly.
n-pearson, Jul 01 2003

       I like the idea of range information. Probably the readout would be something like:   

       Earth's Core Earth's Core Earth's Core Earth's Core Earth's Core Earth's Core Earth's Crust Mongolia Stratosphere Ionosphere Space.   

       But I still dig it. You would have to hold your head very still though - a millimeter of head inclination would sweep over hundreds of miles on the other side of the earth.
bungston, Jul 01 2003

       <You would have to hold your head very still though>   

       That's why I think a 'shutter button' would help -- by just clicking quickly, you get a snapshot reading, rather than having to hold still for too long; or you can hold it down and scan.
n-pearson, Jul 05 2003


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