You are here:-, DFF-Brighton-Digital compass aims to tackle ageism

Digital compass aims to tackle ageism

Joint winner of this year’s Designing for the Future with the University of Brightonwas Eli Heath who designed Pebble, a digital compass which aims to tackle ageism head on.

Eli describes his project as follows:


Pebble is a hand-held, digital compass. Pebble tackles ageist material division and prejudice within product design.

Pebble is activated by pressing the screen downwards. A blue dot then appears on the screen and points towards a chosen location. This location is set via a dial-up telephone service, a website or an app.


Pebble features mechanical operation, refined functionality and is constructed using traditional materials. Through these means, it provides a radical and necessary alternative to how technology can be designed to optimise it’s usability.

Usable technology is accessible to all age demographics. This empowers older people to use digital technology and creates more opportunity for equal and positive interactions between individuals of different ages.

Pebble is a desirable alternative to Sat Navs and GoogleMaps and therefore offers an opportunity for younger generations to empathise more with older generations. For example, a young person using the compass to find their way to a friend’s house would always know the general direction they have to go, but may have to check journey specifics by asking passers by and by checking street maps. In doing so, they become familiar with some of the challenges of living in a pre-digital world”