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Finding Our Way with Digital Bread Crumbs

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Microsoft Menlo

Microsofts prototype Menlo device packs a compass and an array of navigation sensors.


In the classic tale by the Brothers Grimm, Hansel and Gretel leave a trail of bread crumbs from their home so as not to get lost in the forest, but the plan fails when birds eat the crumbs. In the modern world, a GPS device could assist the fabled siblings. But what if they wandered into a place without GPS signals?

With that kind of problem in mind, a team of researchers at Microsoft set out to create a mobile device that could forge a trail of "digital bread crumbs." The device would collect the trail data while the user walked indoors, underground, or in other spaces where GPS signals are unavailable or weak, such as multilevel parking garages that can baffle people who forget where they parked.

From Technology Review
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