Belt that signals which direction you are facing.
September 30, 2013 11:30 PM   Subscribe

A few years ago I read an article about a study where the subjects wore a belt like device that vibrated on the four cardinal directions. If I remember correctly the subjects were able to determine which direction they were facing even after the device was removed. I am trying to find the article again and am having no luck. AskMetafilter powers activate!
posted by Mr_Zero to Technology (7 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Was it this article?
posted by neurodoc at 11:42 PM on September 30, 2013 [10 favorites]

Response by poster: Holy shit I love this site. That is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you.
posted by Mr_Zero at 11:44 PM on September 30, 2013 [1 favorite]

I didn't know the article you were seeking, but I do remember hearing Oliver Sacks talk about keeping some rare earth magnets in his trouser pocket and feeling them pull toward the poles as he made his way through the world. Probably a Radiolab podcast. Thought it was an interesting alternative.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 4:26 AM on October 1, 2013

If you were interested in building something similar, you can buy kits here. It's been on my to do list for a while now.
posted by phil at 5:49 AM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]

Woo hoo! Mr_Zero, thank you for this question and phil, thank you for the link to the kit. I have wanted to get one of these since the original story came out, but I don't have the right combination of of skills & time to do it from scratch. The kit I think I can handle, though.
posted by alms at 6:32 AM on October 1, 2013

Here's the Radiolab episode about the human (and avian) sense of direction: Lost & Found. I'm sure whether Dr. Sacks is mentioned in there. He's not listed, but he's such a staple at Radiolab that he might not be.
posted by Sunburnt at 6:42 AM on October 1, 2013

Phil, the kit is awesome! Now someone tell me how to McGuyver one for 5 bucks.
posted by BlueHorse at 12:40 PM on October 1, 2013

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