Monday, October 18, 2010

Feel Space Project at University of Osnabruck

At the University of Osnabruck in Germany, a group of scientists have been developing the remarkable 'feel-space' belt which allows the wearer to feel the earth's magnetic field, just like birds do.

The feelSpace belt has vibrators attached, which are governed by heading information from an electronic compass: the one vibrator pointing north is active.

Thereby, the belt user is constantly provided with tactile heading information relative to the earth's magnetic field. If, for instance, the user is directed to west, the vibrator on his right hip vibrates.

For six weird weeks twelve volunteers wore the vibrating sensory belt every moment of their waking day and sure enough at the end of their trial all the evidence suggests that they managed to incorporate their new sense, navigating their way around the world instinctively by-passing the need for attention altogether.

Get access to and read the Final Report in PDF

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting experiment!
    But I wonder if the users, unconsiously, have not learned something else. To relate the position of the sun to the north? This could be tested by doing the final experiment in the middle of the night. Did they do this also?