I admit it, I look at the headlines of press releases and if interesting, the first paragraph. But three press releases from last week required a revisit because the topics were so...interesting.
First off, Depiction, which offers a "what if" visualization tool announced (press release) at State of the Map apparently (I'm not sure why but I guess it uses OMS?) a new product: DepictionPrep. The idea: it's software to help you and your neighborhood prepare for an upcoming emergency. No details on pricing; it's coming this fall. I have mixed feelings about this and note that Glenn just shared another related offering: Safety Maps which creates a custom "we'll meet here in case of emergency" map for free and is built on OpenStreetMap. And licensed under CC.
Second, Fox, the bike shocks folks joined the Ant+ alliance teamed with and Garmin the GPS folks (press release) to walk users through setting up the suspensions on the their moutain bikes. It's a proof of concept that does not require GPS. As I undrstand it, sensors in the pumps (that serve as shock absorbers best I understand, I'm a road biker) talk to the Garmin Edge and walk the user through the process. You can then save different settings for different terrains. I wonder if this is a solution in search of a problem. I'll have to ask my mountain biking friends.
Finally and this is the most big brother of them all: CrowdOptic (press release) has a platform to keep track of where cell phones are "looking" during an event like a football game or a concert. Then, that information can be used to feed more info (say stats on the player) or ads (Time for a coke!). The release does not say but I'm guessing you'd have to give the company access to your location and compass info. Sadly, this also suggests that at such events people spend a good deal of their time taking pictures from, lookng through or looking at their phones.