MWC 2013 Fujitsu exhibited a prototype of its GPS-enabled walking stick yesterday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
The futuristic stick is aimed at getting older people out of the house, but would be equally at home slung over the arm of an Apple hipster while their iPod Nikes are in the wash. The user can configure their route on a PC before downloading it to the stick via Bluetooth.
As you tap along the street, a display on the top of the stick shows you when to turn - removing the need to muck about with smartphone maps while you're trying to pay attention to your surroundings. It will also your monitor your heart rate through a sensor on the top, and - quite handy if you've an elderly parent - it has wireless connectivity, so if the walker is lost, it can call the family automatically and a family member can remotely send directions to it. The stick contains a pedometer and the system provides local information on temperature and humidity.
Just the thing for a potter down to the shops, all that is missing is a mechanism to remind you why you went there in the first place. ®