When your GPS device in your car wants you to turn right, it says "turn right" and shows the directions on a screen. The next generation of devices could tell you to turn right by letting you "feel" your way around.
NEWS: Need Directions? Pull My Finger
Vibrations from a wearable GPS device would give directions with a pattern of pulses that the wearer would feel. Not only does this eliminate the use of maps (distracting to drivers) but for those who are visually or hearing impaired it would bypass the two most common ways devices display information.
The idea comes from Lynette Jones, a senior research scientist in MIT's Department of Mechanical Engineering. She decided to study how sensitive skin is to vibrations, where people are most sensitive, and how touch is perceived.
To get the data she wanted, Jones designed a belt that contained small motors similar to those that cause a cell phone to vibrate and a set of sensors that tracked the vibrations as they traveled across a person's skin. She tested the sensors on the palm of the hand, the forearm and the thigh.