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Shear feedback GPS navigation tells your fingers where to go, you just have to follow (video)

Tim Stevens

Keeping your eyes on the road gets ever more difficult with ever-bigger, ever-brighter GPS navigation units hitting retail. This product of University of Utah research could obsolete them entirely by tickling your fingers. It's called "shear feedback," effectively stretching the skin on your fingertip to tell you which way to go, achieved via a pair of old Thinkpad trackpoints, which were always too coarse a grit for our delicate tastes. The nub moves left or right to tell you where to go, and in a test distracted drivers were 24 percent more likely to follow directions through their digits than when told by cold, uncaring GPS lady. It's demonstrated after the break and looks like it would be perfect if we always drove at ten and two -- and wanted to get our fingerprints sandpapered off on every trip to the mall.

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