Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lets ''Dash''....

When you write a product review there is usually a question - ''would you recommend it to your friend'' and in case of the this product, the answer would be ''he/she better buy it!''

Wonder why ?? Because its technology and marketing all combined into one !

Dash Express is apparently the first two-way Internet-connected GPS navigation system (homepage: http://www.dash.net/ ). The system is based on a dash driver network where the dash servers receive timely updates from ALL dash users and this updated information is periodically sent to ALL dash users. This is pretty much like a friend calling you and asking you to avoid a route because he/she is already stuck in traffic there. This reminds me of OSM (Openstreetmaps - here is a really cool link where you can see the road network grow in Munich - http://www.geofabrik.de/en/gallery/history/index.html#munich), where one can upload GPS tracks to populate the road network and everyone mutually benefits from it....its amazing to see how this live and let live policy has populated the Germany road network from virtually nothing to nearly 80% (rough numbers, dont hold me to it) !

As cool as this is, it also means the more the dash users in a region, the better your information and henceforth issuing updates are going to be. Currently this is available only in the US and when I queried google for a review, this is what I found.

http://www.engadget.com/2008/03/27/dash-express-review/ - some excerpts from the review (Note that this review is from 2008 and there have been quite a few updates in the last year):
''almost every GPS can tell you where the nearest gas station is, but the Express actually looks up the latest prices for you and points you to the cheapest.'' - somehow makes me feel like getting closer to ''machines over man'' scenario.....

''Once you enter a location, the Express calculates three routes based on traffic, distance, and time, and you can pick which one you'd like'' - I wonder how this will work in T-Nagar area (or in any city in India for that matter)......I would dare dash express to try it :D !

Well...the next time I am in the US, I would definitely try to get one just for the sake of using it and seeing how helpful my dash network friends are !
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Website Hit Counter I had decided to have a counter only after I hit a 1000 views and since it happened last week (as on 14 Dec 2009), now is the time to see some stats :)