FEATURE30 November 2017

A sense of direction

x All content on Research Live and in Impact magazine is editorially independent from sponsorship or other commercial arrangements.
Find out more about advertising and sponsorship.

Features Impact Innovations Technology

How could knowing where north lies affect your appreciation of space and the environment around you? Research into people wearing a piece of tech that constantly reminds them where north is could soon tell us. By Jane Bainbridge

Sense of direction

Do you have a good sense of direction? Not just expert compass-reading skills, but an innate sense of which way to head? While some animals use the Earth’s magnetic field to determine the right way to go when migrating, for humans, a perfect sense of direction requires an extra tool of some sort.

But what if your body was ‘told’ every time you pointed north – how would that affect your sense of place and understanding of your environment? Researchers are trying to find out by questioning people who have signed up for Cyborg Nest’s North Sense.

The North Sense allows people to sense the electromagnetic field by attaching a small device to their bodies that vibrates whenever they face north. In this way, the device acts as an exo-sense – it sits outside the body, but is permanently attached, like other sense organs.

This human-enhancement technology was designed by Cyborg Nest, which was co-founded ...