From the “WTF-am-I-Dept,” Dash is a new GPS unit which offers wireless connectivity (and cellular for a nominal monthly fee) to obtain traffic notices and obtain gas prices among other capabilities all in one. This is another fine example of the power of a mashup of existing technology.
One of the barriers that blocked me from adopting into GPS was price and the fear of entering into a subscription. Well, all it took was one Black Friday and a fire-sale of a deal to make me purchase my Garmin and soon realized it doesn’t have a monthly fee. I was always under the impression that would magically communicate with the satellites out there and fetch live updates on things — but it didn’t. That said, it has sufficed to guide me thousands of miles across America.
Dash’s GPS is truly genius. They make the GPS always current with updates and live fetching of traffic conditions as well as being integrated up with Yahoo Local. All of these features aren’t new technology, but the combination of them — a mashup — makes it awesome.
This should be a reminder for innovators out there — you don’t need to create something totally new, just make something better and add some new features with it. Look at the features and see that they aren’t brand new, just very accessible for end users (as well as things like “You know what would be cool if…” things):
TruTraffic™ Get true, up-to-the-minute traffic information from the Dash Driver Network Pre-Loaded Maps Built-in maps enable you to travel all 50 states 2d, 3d Maps, Detailed Directions/Maneuver List Route to your destination using the 2d map (both car up and north up), 3d map or detailed turn-by-turn directions list Traffic Alerts/Detours On-screen traffic alerts tell you when there is a significant traffic delay and gives you the opportunity to detour/reroute Alternate Routes Get up to 3 routes for all your destinations so you can choose the best route for you Customizable Traffic View Customize the level of traffic information you would like to see on the map Map It Map to any destination (even if you don’t want to route there) Address Entry Enter addresses in numerous ways (house number, street, or cross-streets, or select from your recent destinations, favorites, or address book) Address Book Store and access all of your addresses right on the device Favorites Store your favorite addresses and searches for easy access and routing Yahoo!® Local Search/Unlimited Points of Interest (POIs) Pre-loaded with a database of POIs plus accesses unlimited POIs that are never out of date via Yahoo Local Search Send2Car™ Send addresses to your device from any internet-connected computer MyDash Dash user website to let you customize and manage the content on your Dash MyLists Customize the information on your Dash with search lists created and updated by you or other Dash users AutoUpdates Get the latest software, maps and features Wi-Fi Settings Configure your device to connect to up to 2 access points, as well as open networks Partner Content Platform Enables users to get content from third party web services in a number of ways. Supports standard geo-data formats such as GeoRSS and KML while also providing a developer API so third party developers can build additional great services for Dash users. QWERTY Keyboard Intuitive and easy to read word entry Automatic Day and Night Mode Screens can automatically switch between day and night mode depending on the time of day Gas Prices Search for gas stations and get gas prices, so you can compare prices – and then let Dash route you there Movie Listings Search for movie theaters, see what’s playing (when and where) and get ratings – and then let Dash route you there Theft Deterrent Call Dash to remotely disable your device if it is stolen Text to Speech Voice guidance gives you the street for your next turn
Also, another stroke of consumer advocacy here: Theft Deterrence. Nothing is more frustrating for a consumer than when a thief steals their technology with no ability to recover. Dash lets owners call in and have them permanently disable it. (Sometimes, Phoning Home isn’t a bad thing.)While it may not bring it back, it will offer no value, no resale value, and at least you can have time to check pawn shops, eBay or Craigslist for a “bricked DASH unit.”
I’ve love to get my hands on one of these and really see what it’s made of. Perhaps a video of it in action describing the real-world application of this technology. (This is my innocuous way of begging for one. Folks at Dash, contact me, plz.)
I found out about Dash via Jason Calacanis on Twitter a while ago, I just had a chance to check it out. Jason, hook a bro’ up. 😉