September 27, 2006

dash: new in-car gps & networked platform


Dash Navigation had their coming out party at Demo yesterday. Their product Dash Express is an automotive GPS device with wifi and GPRS network connectivity, which provides sophisticated real-time traffic & driving time features as well as internet searches for points of interest. Apparently it uses car-to-car mesh networking in some fashion. Maps and device software are updated over the air. You can also have destinations sent to your car from any browser. Liz from GigaOM got a test drive and writes:

The device seems even cooler than originally thought, adding to real time routing recommendations and local info with gas prices and locations, nearby Craigslist listings, and whatever other useful things you want to set up to be pushed to you when you’re driving.

But also:

Some major downsides, though: when I got to go on a drive this morning, the CEO actually had to shove a paperclip into the thing multiple times to reboot it. Also, it’s going to cost at least $700, with a $12- to $14-per-month subscription.

I'm not so worried about prototypes that need rebooting, but that is a pretty steep pricing model. Hopefully it includes any required GPRS and wifi subscriptions, and the data plan had better be all-you-can-eat ;-)

So presumably the Dash has an IP address? I wonder how those are allocated, do you suppose they are using IPv6? What does their service backend look like? And where's the developer kit? Or is this going to be a closed ecosystem platform? Guess we'll find out in the next few months.

Posted by Gene at September 27, 2006 1:21 PM | TrackBack