I have played around with a few in car GPS units and they are all pretty much the same. They give you directions visually and via audio, they can tell you where the closest gas station (with price) is or where the nearest White Castle is and you can program it with preset destinations. Don't get me wrong those features are very cool but Dash has raised the bar. Dash is the smart GPS unit.

Dash does all the things a normal GPS unit does but does it with real time data. The Dash unit constantly sends traffic data out from your car which is shared with other Dash units out there. So the traffic data your unit receives is from other units actually on the road. Normal GPS units receive data from sensors on the highway then do some math to estimate travel times. This is the same type of data your local tv traffic person uses. (Ever notice those estimates are never quite right). Another differentiator is that it not only gives you data for the major highways but for side streets as well. It brings traffic data to every street.

I am sure the first question you are asking is doesn't mass acceptance have to happen to really make this thing powerful. Yes and no. Mass acceptance is not needed put helps with the data. I spoke to a Dash rep at the last TechCocktail and I think they said 1000 in large city like Chicago is a good number (might have been fewer though). And guess what Chicago has well over 1000 units in the city so you get some good data. Obviously smaller cities would need a smaller number. Then if your city doesn't have enough units in the area yet it also gets the old fashioned data regular GPS units get. The price is comparable to the other units as well.

Lastly Dash has an open source platform which means any company or entrepreneur could create an applicaiton for it. Some apps already developed are access you Outlook, Gmail or other calendars from the unit, see where speed traps are or look up the weather forecast. I am sure a ton more cool apps are coming.

Here is a review from Walt Mossberg. The review is old so he says the unit is $400 but it is $299 on Amazon

The unit has some other unique features so check it out!


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