This handy portable map projector equipped with GPS makes getting lost a thing of the past. All you need is a surface to shine your map on. A friend's forehead would do.
Designed by Jinsun Park and Seonkeun Park of South Korea's Samsung Art & Design Institute, the Maptor is somewhat similar to this map/flashlight we profiled awhile back, but far more convenient. Not only do you not have to bother with tiresome unfolding of paper, you don't have to search for your location, thanks to the GPS function that points it out.
A button lets you zoom in or out of the projected image, and the unit is small enough to hang from your neck on a lanyard, though who would really want to do that? Far better in a utility belt!
Made of biodegradable plastic, Maptor--which has not yet on the market--has a simple on/off toggle and a switch to control zoom and map size. It can download maps via Bluetooth connection and is battery-powered like a regular flashlight.
One question is how readable the map would be in daylight. Would users have to scurry into the closest tunnel to get a fix on their position?
Still, this would likely make a handy gizmo for directionally challenged people everywhere.
The Maptor picked up a silver award at the 2009 International Design Excellence Awards organized by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Samsung beat Apple in the showing, earning eight awards to Apple's seven.
(Via Yanko Design)