Despite the fact that I've lived in New York my entire life, I'm admittedly dependent on Apple Maps to get around—especially in the non-numbered streets. But even though the app helps allay my navigational incompetence, it's generally not the safest (or most social) thing to walk around with your eyes glued to the glare of your iPhone. So when I heard about technology company Wearable Experiments’s new Navigate jacket with a built-in GPS, I was compelled to give it a test run. And since the trial was heavily documented, you can watch my experience here:
The way the Navigate works is fairly straight-forward. First, you download Navigate's companion app on your iPhone and plug in your destination (mine was 46th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues—a stone's throw from InStyle’s N.Y.C. office). Once I was alerted that the blazer and the app were synced, I took off unencumbered, with the promise of a fresh cup of coffee in my near future, courtesy of our site producer, Leah Abrahams. As I walked, subtle vibrations on the shoulders of the jacket alerted me where to turn, and in which direction (a buzz on the right shoulder instructed me to turn right, and a buzz on the left shoulder instructed me to turn left). What's more, in each sleeve, there are lights that indicate how far it is until the next turn.
Although I doubt I'd wear the jacket on a daily basis, I admit that this high-tech geographical solution allowed me to look up from my screen and soak in my surroundings much more so than usual. Also, the technology in the jacket was not only unobtrusive, but the design wasn't chunky or overbearing in the least. The sleeves are well-tailored, and the front features a crisp lapel, tortoiseshell buttons, and even pockets. From the outside, it almost looks like a regular blazer. But of course it's much more than that: it's my new James Bond prop.
Navigate, $400 and up; wearableexperiments.com/navigate to register.
Visit our #BestofDigi page for more hot new apps and websites, and be sure to pick up the November issue of InStyle, available on newsstands and for digital download now, for the full list.