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Future Tech: 

Forget maps. Try electrodes on your legs

He won't be smiling so much when the electrodes kick in.

He won’t be smiling so much when the electrodes kick in.

We can all agree that being able to use maps on our phones to get from A to B is extremely handy. Not having to talk to people to find stuff: glorious. But it does take up the whole phone screen… wouldn’t it be great to get that back, so we can carry on beer matching, or saving the world?

As you’re still reading, we assume you’re as lazy as us. Good, you’re just the kind of person who might be interested in Pedestrian Cruise Control. The idea is simple: instead of having to decode mapping instructions with your eyes and brain, tiny electrodes will stimulate the sartorius muscle that runs from the knee to the thigh, giving small unconscious messages that the body should be moving in that direction. A student in the trial compared it to cruise control – you can take over if you want, but there’s something nice about letting yourself be steered.

All fun and games until someone hacks your phone to make you jump in a lake, we’d imagine.

In all seriousness though, it may seem like an answer to a problem that doesn’t exist, but there are some useful functions beyond those lazy enough to think electric shocks are preferable to reaching into their pocket. Firefighters could use Pedestrian Cruise Control to guide them through areas with poor visibility, and people with memory loss could also be guided back home without needing assistance.

Despite this, we’re not crazy about the idea of getting electric shocks to influence our behavior, no matter how minor. It’s one thing to guide cockroach legs with electric pulses, but we prefer to keep our grey matter a little busier, thanks.

If you like the sound of getting electric shocks though, you should be sure to check out Pavlok too, which will use shocks to train yourself out of bad habits. Like getting to the end of an article without commenting (oh, go on.)

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