Pilgrim

Pilgrim is a compass that provides a tangible interface for discovery without a digital screen, by magnetically pointing people in the direction of their desired location, sourcing data directly from the Yelp API.

During the experience of searching for a new place, people are overwhelmed by too many options, losing the element of surprise. The metaphor of the compass is used as a return to the past – a sailor’s journey, which was characterized by the feeling of fate and lack of control, leading to an eventual unexpected discovery.

The experience begins with the selection of a category using a dial below the compass, that clicks to send out data. The proximity to the destination is then indicated by lights along the rim of the compass, that light up one by one as the person gets closer to the location.

Once a category selection is received via clicking the dial, the code queries the Yelp API to return the coordinates of the best matched result to Pilgrim. The magnetic needle would then turn an angle relative to the user’s current position, replacing magnetic north with coordinates of the destination.

Pilgrim is programmed with a Genuino MKR 1000 which enables the compass to be connected to internet and also has a higher amount of memory. Moreover, Pilgrim uses a magnetometer + accelerometer for the directions, a stepper motor with an H-bridge, and a rotary encoder for the dial.

Future improvements would allow for rating of the location, using a scroll wheel along the side of the compass.

Pilgrim: Discover a place, Discover a Journey.