North Paw is an anklet that tells the wearer which way is North. The anklet holds eight cellphone vibrator motors around the ankle. A control unit containing an electronic compass senses magnetic north and turns on and off the motors.
At any given time only one motor is on and this motor is the closest to North. The skin senses the vibration, and the wearer’s brain learns to associate the vibration with direction, giving the wearer an intuitive sense of which way is North.
The North Paw is a follow up on the Feelspace research done at the Cognitive Psychology department of the University of Osnabrück in Germany.
The team at Sensebridge, a research and collaboration group based at Noisebridge, a hackerspace in San Francisco, CA offers the North Paw as DIY kit for $95.- containing all components and instructions needed to make your own ankle compass.
Beside the direction indication capability of this concept I could imagine to connect instead of vibration motors light sources, illuminating different parts of a dress in different colors depending on the orientation of the wearer to the north pole. Could give some cool, colorful effects on a dress.