A Electronic backpack won’t let you get lost (Nov, 1970)

A Electronic backpack won’t let you get lost
It’s called a position locator, and Westinghouse makes it for the Army. The locator automatically computes the distance and direction traveled by a wandering soldier on patrol, who then determines his location by reading map coordinates on a counting meter and comparing them with grid lines on a military map. The system consists of a 14-pound backpack computer plus boot antennas (top right) and a display/control unit (lower right). The antennas count and measure each step by an exchange of electronic signals fed to the backpack, which contains a compass device. The system can also be used in forestry work, in exploration, or for preliminary mapping.

  1. fluffy says: June 26, 200810:24 am

    Hooray, pre-GPS dead reckoning. Of course today’s GPS chips are much more accurate/portable and are embeddable in practically everything.

  2. Adrian says: June 27, 20083:01 am

    Surely this would compare to the modern day pedometer and a compass? Both items now available free from various outlets (and slightly smaller).

  3. Anne says: June 27, 20086:05 am

    Fourteen pounds just to tell where you are… and if you need to know where you are, you’re also going to need such silly things like food, shelter and tools for whatever job you may be doing (if you’re doing forestry work, for example). I can’t imagine this being a very popular option.

  4. LightningRose says: June 27, 20081:41 pm

    Pedometer based, or accelerometer based? Perhaps similar to the dead reckoning computers still used on submarines?

  5. Toronto says: June 27, 200810:07 pm

    More like a pedometer that measures the stride, too, by induction between the two leg ‘antennae’\ or something. Sounds like it integrated the strides and direction into lat and long offsets, too. Cool tech but useless today.

  6. StanFlouride says: June 28, 200810:04 am

    I want that car on the cover!

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