Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Usefulness of GPS on-board navigation (and automotive modding)

Walking in Rome/Bangkok/travelling. I remember when I got my nifty little treo90 and thought “Finally colour and more speed” and got a few city maps using different Palm software apps, it was neat enough, I could put in an address and have it find the location on the map, pretty nice. About that time I started hearing about the iPaq and GPS, sounded neat but not so useful. Now with maps of cities/countries/continents getting cheaper, and PDA memory increasing, it is starting to seem more useful (for average Joes like myself).

I also started hearing about built-in GPS for Autos, at the time it was for either custom or top of the line cars (some Mercedes, BMWs, etc). But now, that too is coming down to the reach of regular cars (as an option) and almost standard in many nicer cars. Its perfectly suited for autos too; automotive built-in GPS, tends to be better than aftermarket (because I believe it is integrated and can take wheel rotation/movement into account instead of only relying on satellite) but the dashboard DVD/radios (many times the GPS systems rely on maps that are on DVDs) are just too sweet (not only that but being able to put in a DVD of MP3s is nice as well).

Car computerization in general. While I think it is sad that M$ is now in some cars I do think that things like video games (which I don’t condone kids playing them 8 hours a day), movies etc, I had some seriously traumatic road trips with tha family listening to novels on tape (got into them occasionally but a video game or movie would have kept me much quieter).