Raman Sarin has built a device that points to the nearest Starbucks coffee shop from any given location that was showcased in the latest Microsoft TechFest. It is a small wooden box with a compass at the centre that points in the direction of the closest Starbucks coffee centre guided by a database that contains all locations of Starbucks outlets. Pretty neat!

Titled "Coffee Compass", I believe there has been a lot of UI study that has gone into the product and the developers have finally arrived at the most optimal UI design. Personally, I found the spider shaped compass a bit icky! Just goes to show no UI can please everyone! :) Nice idea though - the compass one. I just wish we could have a chaat compass too - most ones in Hyd are an overload of spice and oil, but I could create my own database having a list of my fave chaat outlets (yes - I am that desperate! :-). Creating a map dynamically to the nearest point from the current location would be a cool feature to add too.

BTW, if the Coffee Compass is ever shipped as a product, the localized versions of the product should probably look for Cafe Coffee Day outlets in India! :-)