Hands-Free Maps Turn Tourists Into Locals
We've all been there, anxiously scanning the street signs in a foreign city for any clue to our location. For some seasoned travelers, our pride is too strong to simply take out a map and figure things out, let alone to stop someone and ask for directions (I'm looking at you, gentlemen). Sure, since the advent of the smart phone, finding our way has become quite a bit easier, but there is still something embarassingly obvious about standing in one place and spinning around a few times with a smart phone in your hand that gives you away as a tourist.
The clever folks at DesignHype have come up with a cheap, fashionable, and subtle way of helping solve one of those perennial problems of traveling, the puzzle of new subway systems! These Metro Cuffs have the layout of the subway systems from major cities around the world printed onto the metal band. Checking where you are and where you are headed is now as simple as looking at the time on your watch, and just as unnoticeable to the locals around you.
These stylish bracelets look like any other modern fashion choice, and even if someone notices what it is, the design is so clever and attractive that they will probably ask where you got it. These bracelets make great gifts for someone who is planning a trip to one of the cities, like Paris, Berlin, New York, Milan, or London, or it can be a good self-gift if you are looking forward to some wandering of your own. One of the best feelings while traveling abroad is when you begin to know the layout of the city, when you start to feel comfortable, and when you can get from Point A to Point B without getting lost at Point #!%$. Metro Cuffs can give an extra boost of confidence to even the most timid and hopeless traveler.
These Metro Cuffs are made of stainless steel, are lightweight, and can be as inconspicuous as you want. All of the designs thus far come in black, but DesignHype is also beginning to release colored alternatives, as well as embossed lines of silver on silver. These embossed versions are quite popular, because the map is even harder to spot unless you know exactly what you're looking for. (Example below)
The creators of this new traveling fashion are promising to release more cities and subway systems as they complete the designs, and I am personally looking forward to seeing how they manage to get Toyko's sprawling system on one bracelet. Maybe they will make a full arm piece, Cleopatra-style, for that massive metro system, although the subtlety of the design might be compromised....
One of the many critiques I hear from older generations is that young people don't "know" cities anymore. With GPS technology and smart phones ready and waiting for any directional query, the tradition of "learning" a city is being lost. Although these Metro Cuffs show only a small portion of a city's layout, in some ways, they are still a throwback homage to the days of traditional maps and knowing a city "like the back of your hand"....or wrist.
Rumor has it that Brooklyn will be the next subway system to be immortalized on the metal bracelets by DeisgnHype, so for all you lost souls currently wandering the underground system beneath Brooklyn, just hang on a little longer. Butseriously, what do you think? Is this WPS (Wrist Positioning System) something that will catch on? Or is this a fashionable niche that will be forgotten somewhere between Paris and NYC?
Whether you're a directionally confused New Yorker or just a frequent European traveler, check out the whole selection of Metro Cuffs on Amazon!