I'll never forget my first day at my first fashion magazine in New York City. I had lived in the city for all of three days, had my eyes buried in my Google Maps during a subway ride, and ended up somewhere deep in the heart of Queens instead of my intended SoHo destination. As useful as smartphone GPS's are, they aren't always practical, causing you to consistently look down, bump into things, or just plain miss where you're supposed to be going. But a new development in wearable tech allows a GPS-enabled jacket to navigate for you. So you'll never get lost (or look like a tourist) again.
Navigate, as the jacket is appropriately called, works by downloading an app to your iPhone and plugging in your destination. Once the jacket and app are synced, hardware embedded into each garment vibrates when you need to turn left or right. The vibrations change in intensity depending on how far in each direction you need to turn. Three cities have been programmed so far — Paris, NYC, and Sydney — and the blazer-style jacket comes in a red-black-gray combo. Cofounder Billie Whitehouse hopes the jackets will give an authentic experience of a city, eliminating the need to be hunched over a map or phone.
It sounds like a cool and probably helpful concept, but I have a few concerns, like what if it's too hot for a jacket (have you been to NYC in the summer)? And these vibrations — how intense do they get? I'd worry I'd end up consistently jumping in surprise and look like I have a tic or something. But if it helps you get where you need to be without draining your iPhone battery or bumping into multiple angry people on the street, then it might be worth trying out.