A map to light lost hikers' way

Owen Song has come up with a concept design called "Light," a map that can roll up to double as a flashlight.

Owen Song

You're lost in the woods and it's getting darker. Wouldn't it be nice if the two items most essential to you finding your way out before night falls (not counting a GPS unit) were rolled into one convenient little package? Boston-based designer Owen Song has come up with just such a contraption. The Light is a map that can double as a flashlight.

The concept device consists of two sheets of paper, one with a map printed on it, the other a cover sheet with two electrodes on the back. Between the papers is a thin battery and LEDs. Roll the map up so the two electrodes touch and the LEDs turn on. Voila--map becomes flashlight! (Of course, our keen-eyed readers pointed out one minor flaw; you can't actually use the flashlight to illuminate the map. Picky, picky...)

We'll be watching to see if this device makes it past the concept stage. Oh, and please don't make me tell the story of that afternoon-turned-evening last fall when I really could have used one of these. Not my proudest outdoorsy moment. (Thanks designzen, for showing us the light on this one.)

About the author

Leslie Katz, Crave's senior editor, heads up a team that covers the most crushworthy (and wackiest) tech, science, and culture around. As a co-host of the now-retired CNET News Daily Podcast, she was sometimes known to channel Terry Gross and still uses her trained "podcast voice" to bully the speech recognition software on automated customer service lines. E-mail Leslie.


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