A GPS puck is a small, self contained device that adds GPS navigational capabilities to another device (usually an older, non-GPS enabled device). Most GPS pucks contain a GPS antenna and receiver, which are then connected to – and powered by – the main device using a standard USB connection.
The case halves of this GPS puck are molded in a dark grey polycarbonate, using a pigment package that allows for a small amount of light transmission (about 5%). While the case appears to be opaque under most viewing conditions, the material allows a flashing LED to be visible to the user, confirming that the device is fully functional.
The basic design represents a simple example of the principle of biomimicry, where design solutions are developed based on naturally occurring, biologically based systems. In this case – no pun intended – the design intent was to communicate connectivity via a flashing LED light, in much the same manner that fireflies communicate their location to one another using a chemical process known as bioluminescence.
“Imitation is the sincerest [ form of ] flattery.” - Charles Caleb Colton
note: images of the firefly (photinus pyralis) are provided courtesy of Terry Priest, and his website www.frfly.com. Terry is a researcher and photographer whose passion and creativity have enabled all of us in the technical world to reconnnect with nature, and to one another.