A North Paw is an anklet that tells the wearer which way is North. The anklet holds eight cellphone vibrator motors around your ankle. A control unit senses magnetic north and turns on and off the motors. At any given time only one motor is on and this motor is the closest to North. The skin senses the vibration, and the wearer’s brain learns to associate the vibration with direction, giving the wearer an intuitive sense of which way is North. Most people “get it” mere seconds after putting it on, and can then reliably point north when asked.
What makes it way more awesome than a regular compass? Persistence. With a regular compass the owner only knows the direction when he or she checks it. With this compass, the information enters the wearer’s brain at a subconscious level, giving the wearer a true feeling of absolute direction, rather than an intellectual knowledge as with a regular compass.
Because of the plasticity of the brain, it has been shown that most wearers gain a new sense of absolute direction, giving them a superhuman ability to navigate their surroundings. The original idea for North Paw comes from research done at University of Osnabrück in Germany. In this study, rather than an anklet, the researchers used a belt. They wore the belt non-stop for six weeks, and reported successive stages of integration.
The North Paw kit comes with everything that you will need to build a fully functional compass anklet. This includes a circuit board, through-hole components, 8 pager motors, an enclosure, a battery pack, and a comfortable fabric anklet to hold it all on your ankle. Plus bragging rights after you finish building it, of course. Take a look at the assembly instructions.
If you want to order a North Paw V2.0 kit, please check out the Order page, where you’ll get all the details. Each North Paw V2.0 Kit costs $149 (incl. the lithium polymer battery and integrated charger) plus shipping and handling.
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