Geocaching is a fun activity that involves finding little things hidden in the real world. The kids and I try to do it when we travel and we usually end up circling a bush for a few minutes before we all go and get ice cream. However, if you’re Greg Mayer you get down and dirty and create a crazy watch that can point you to distant GPS coordinates like some sort of computerized Mercury leading you into high adventure.
Like the DIY cellphone we talked about this week, this device is made of off-the-shelf components and can be recreated at will. It cost about $60 to build and required a bit of coding.
Simple projects like this one are truly inspiring. While we’re all fussing around with smartphones, the idea that we can create standalone, single-purpose devices for various uses – navigation, notification, and the like – is fascinating. And, while this device is obviously very fiddly, it’s clear that this hardware can be stuffed inside a smaller case in order to a create a truly self-contained navigation system.
This is the first of a new class of digital accessories – devices that aren’t that smart but work quite well for a specific purpose. As jewelry companies and other makers get in on the act, expect to see smart devices hidden inside stuff that used to be dumb.