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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.
You're walking to work on another humdrum Monday
feeling restive amid urban drabness. Donning a pair of
you look down for a moment and stop cold in your tracks,
looking to passersby like you're transfixed with a grass tuft
piece of litter. But, as you hold your fascinated
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
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
what faroff cities you're staring at on the other side of
Or to look into a daytime sky to see what you're missing in
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
spot in earth's lithosphere.
What's That Hill?
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.
||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.
||I like the idea of range information. Probably the readout would be something like:
||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.
||<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.