Asus is building a GPS wristband

Asus has discovered a new application for wearables that could potentially come tremendously handy for travelers and joggers alike. The concept wristband revealed in a patent filing from last month promises to provide a smaller and more convenient alternative to the navigator in your car.

Installed under the display is a gravity sensor used to identify the direction in which the wearer is moving and generate a view of the path ahead. The perspective is automatically adjusted for angle, so the map will look the same whether the band is on your wrist or you’re holding it on your palm.

The limited size of the display means that the wristband will only be able to show the sidewalk or road on which the user is travelling instead of the broader area topographies you may be used to from traditional navigators, but it does live up to the same standard in other aspects. The wristband will include voice guidance to minimize the amount of time spent looking at the small screen and vibrate when you need to turn a corner.

Once you’ve reached your destination and it’s time for a break, a built-in ambient light detector can sense when the wristband is, say, placed facedown on a table and turns off the display to save power. But there’s also an always-on option just in case you’re planning to go out again in a few minutes.