Navigational Tech Inspired by Theseus and the Minotaur

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Students in Italy created an app to help the blind navigate using only their smartphone and sense of touch.

Various paths are mapped out through a building with colored tape on the ground, which the smartphone camera picks up as the user waves the phone back and forth. When the line passes under the user’s finger on the screen, the the smartphone will vibrate to provide a tactile indication of where the line falls.

via PSFK

Why I’m Curious

Tales of inspiration like this always seem a bit far-fetched to me. All that aside, this tech has many great applications. I have a hard time imaging this implemented as a visual aid, since many sidewalks don’t even have the regulatory yellow bumps. It could, however, be a fantastic promotional tool or form of branded entertainment. I imagine it best being used in a store: a little kid following a path to his favorite snack at the grocery store. Or at an event, where partygoers have to follow the hidden path to find the location.

Also, 3-D Printed Candy.

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