When it comes to navigation, right now the best way to get where you want to go is to look at some other device. Even when you're in your car, you need to look at another piece of hardware, and take your eyes off the road, to make sure you're going in the direction you need to go. Sure, they get easier when the units talk to you, but for the most part you still want that visual certainty. Well, thanks to some engineers over in Japan, we might be getting closer to some Personal Navigation Systems (PNS) right on our glasses.
The prototype glasses are just a regular pair, like any other ones you could buy for yourself, but they're equipped with a battery, LEDs, magnetic directional sensor, and a microcomputer. As you'll be able to see in the video, the idea is that you type your destination into a computer, and then the glasses will let you know if you're going in the right direction, thanks to the LEDs. It's not as advanced as your GPS unit in your car, but if you're trying to find a particular location in a busy part of town, and you can only get their on foot, these are a great idea.
After typing in your destination, a GPS sensor in the glasses will keep your current location up to date. And that's when that magnetic directional sensor kicks in. By figuring out which way you're facing, the LEDs on the pair of glasses will glow either red or green, letting you know in a colorful way if you're going in the right direction. Turn the wrong way, and the lights go red. Start heading on course, and the green lights will show up.
This will keep your eyes on the street/road/crowds, and all you have to do is pay attention to the color. The engineers out of Nakajima Lab at the University of Electro-Communication in Tokyo believe that this is far safer, and less obtrusive than other PNS' out there, and from what we can see, they might be on to something. Unfortunately, it actually needs more than those LEDs, that microcomputer, and magnetic directional sensor to actually work, but hopefully they can figure out the rest of the hardware in due time.