So a Milan-based company has designed a strange new travel bracelet called Cricket.
Looking suspiciously like a secret agent wristwatch, Cricket vibrates when you walk near an interesting location, all around the world. Imagine the possibilities!
Let’s say you’re on visiting New York when the world is suddenly ravaged by hordes of post-apocalyptic zombies. You survive for days on nothing but your wits, endurance, and the tins of beans you always carry on holidays. But after your seventh straight day of running, hiding, and shovel-whacking zombie heads, you hear of a sanctuary in the city of Albany, 218 kilometers north of NYC. Apparently survivors are holing up there and this may be your only chance to live.
You’ve never travelled north of Central Park before so you need directions. However all the humans around you are busy screaming while being eaten alive. Who will help you? How will you travel north to safety?
Thankfully you’re wearing your Cricket bracelet as bloodthirsty zombies chase you past the Bronx Zoo. Now, sure, if you use a map app on your smart phone (e.g. Bing Maps), you could call up precise directions to get you from Point A (the zoo) to Point B (the Bureau of Chronic Disease Services in Albany, New York).
Naturally, your computerized map wants to guide you away from the zombies as quickly as possible, so it gives you the fastest, most efficient directions.
But your Cricket takes you even further. It tracks your location like the GPS chip in your phone. But when you sprint past a comic shop that your friends have recommended (or a lingerie store that matches your pre-programmed interests), Cricket vibrates on your wrist to alert you to look around.
You can then duck down an alley, hide till the zombies have shuffled past, then safely seek out the lingerie shop. When you find it, Cricket vibrates continuously to let you know that you’ve succeeded.
It’s like having a veteran travel pal with you – somebody who’s been there before and knows the lay of the land — but instead of a know-it all travel ‘pro’ who escorts you right to the door, he nudges you when you’re close then stands back to let you discover exciting locations on your own.
How does the technology work? I have no idea, man, I’m no scientist, except when I pretend to be one to get into scientist parties. But Cricket’s creators say it’s a “portable haptic device” that is “synchronized through Bluetooth” if that helps any. When not in use, Cricket charges in a magnetic dock. As soon as you remove it, it switches into navigational mode. You can either wear it like a bracelet, or carry it in your jeans like your own personal pocket vibrator.
So how do you buy it? You’ll have to wait a bit. The creators are raising $15,000 in financing and as of this writing, they’re only $565 from that goal. To pledge $5, $25, $100, $500 or more in startup cash, check out their fundraising page on Kickstarter or watch their short intro video here.
They plan to have financing completed by May. So hopefully the zombie apocalypse can wait until spring.
— Ken Hegan