The TamTam Flash concept GPS torch is both a familiar looking and new technology in a number of ways. It resembles an ordinary flashlight and its name sounds an awful lot like TomTom, which neatly links to the fact that the concept torch is actually a GPS mapping device that gives its user the option of either a street map view or a turn by turn guided navigation projected onto a surface.

The designers of the TamTam concept are hoping to cater for the kind of tourists who want to explore and experience the region in which they find themselves. "TamTam flash takes its user by the hand and on a playful discovery tour", acting like a local guide who is small enough and portable enough to be carried in the pocket.

Exactly how the information is displayed is to be determined by the user who will decide between simple turn by turn navigation information illuminating the path in front, or a zoomable map that can be projected onto any surface for a more detailed overview. It is intended that a simple turn on the TamTam's aperture would switch between the views. The designers envisage making the TamTam flash able to read QR tags, giving the user access to detailed local information on landmarks, restaurants, clubs and so on.

Jin-Sun Park's Maptor concept presented last summer, of course, offered much the same functionality. Nevertheless, such a device (whoever gets to claim first design credit) will be of obvious benefit to tourists, walkers and adventure-sports enthusiasts alike. We'll let you know if such a lighted mapping gadget ever goes into production.

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