TeleNav offers Connected GPS; Berkeley/Nokia Work Traffic via Cell Phones

TeleNav is known as the company that provides voice directions on your cell phone. Now it’s in the hardware business with the $300 TeleNav Shotgun. That includes 3 months of service - monthly service starts at $11 and packages are available. It’s a connected solution, not using wi-fi, as the Dash Express (the company is now out of the hardware biz) did but rather GPRS (cell network).

It’s got the basic “connected” things you’d want: cheap gas, re-route, search, traffic (Inrix) though some features are not available at launch (weather, restaurant reviews…). You can set your route on a computer then send it to the device (called “pre-planning”). The platform is not open like Dash’s platform, so only TeleNav will be writing apps.

Perhaps this was in the works and pushed out early due to Dash’s recent announcement? Hard to know at this point, but this device promises less (no traffic probes in the cars as Dash had) and may be more successful at this lower price point (1/2 the Dash Express’ original price.)

- via Gizmodo

Now, if you want to look ahead to something that’s not yet a product, consider a service from UC Berkeley/Nokia that launches today called Mobile Millennium. Basically, it’s (yet another) “let’s track traffic via cell phones with GPS” implementations. The short term goal is to get 10,000 people in northern California to install the free download (by April) so researchers can explore the major commuter corridors between the San Francisco Bay area and Sacramento. The app does not share personal information but there is this warning: “Because Mobile Millennium phones do a lot of traffic reporting, only users with unlimited data plans are advised to sign up.”

- San Jose Mercury News (does not mention Nokia)
- Computerworld (does mention Nokia)

Published Monday, November 10th, 2008

Written by Adena Schutzberg

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