Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur
jducoeur

About time...

It's always neat to see one of my blue-sky ideas come to fruition. (A little frustrating to see that they went and *patented* the damned thing, but that's what I get for not going to the effort myself. If I ever care to invalidate the patent, I can investigate whether I ever really talked about it publically.)

Anyway: one of the points I've been making for, oh, probably six or seven years now is the killer app for Internet to the car: a truly smart navigation system, with up-to-the-minute information. Well, it looks like it's finally happening: the Dash Express is almost exactly the device I designed all those years ago, and have talked about occasionally since then. It's a standard GPS system, but is Internet-connected to their servers. This is key in two ways. First, it uses current traffic information to build its route suggestions -- rather than simply going for the *shortest* route, it will automatically take you around traffic. Second, it uploads and anonymizes the GPS position and speeds from its users to build up seriously accurate traffic info. Once enough people in a given area have the system, it ought to wind up with the most accurate traffic picture out there.

They're apparently in alpha now, but the reviews are starting to trickle in, and it appears to be *very* nearly my ideal device. It fails on only one front: I would have preferred to separate the hardware and software equations. If the front end device was a general-purpose Internet terminal, with the Dash navigation software as just a single app on it, they would have opened up a much bigger (if slightly riskier) opportunity for themselves, to become the cornerstone of a whole new industry. I may yet write to them and suggest that...
Tags: technology
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