Just a few days after the announcement of Chumby comes another small device, this one focused on driving. Dash‘s Web site humbly notes that its product will do for driving what TV did for entertainment and cell phones did for communication. Not only did these seminal devices result in different kinds of changes, but the CrunchGear report would indicate that at least one of Dash’s main features is real-time traffic using a mesh network that goes beyond what TomTom has done with its Friend Finder feature.
Accurate traffic reporting can turn portable navigation devices from products used only opportunistically to ones used almost every day, but I still wouldn’t put it on the magnitude scale of the cell phone or certainly the television. If it can get the viral network effect rolling (and it will be hard to lowball what sounds like a feature-rich device), Dash’s approach should have advantages over several approaches used to deliver traffic today. However, I’m still waiting to see far more natural ways of giving directions based on contextual cues, directions the way a human would give them. — “Turn left at the Mobil station on the right three blocks away.”