Google sat nav?

No, I’m not savvy to some leaked press release or anything like that. But I was wondering the other day how long it might be before we see a Google sat nav device on the market.

Think about it – they already have maps of most of the world and software that is capable of route planning and they have an operating system suitable for mobile devices (Android). It’s only a small step to create a small touchscreen device with a GPS receiver that it designed to be used primarily as a sat nav.

I expect such a device would also have 3G so it could get hold of live traffic information faster than a TMC receiver. It would be able to sync with Google Contacts so your sat nav would know where all your friends lived. It might be able to send them a text message if you were going to be late.

And, of course, it would track you wherever you went. Scary.

5 Comments

  1. rats
    April 7, 2010
    Reply

    i would be surprised if an app for one of the android phones doesn’t appear to do this within 3 months.

    I would not be surprised if the author gets empoyed by google and the thing becomes a feature installed in all new phones.

  2. Jonathan
    April 7, 2010
    Reply

    There are already some navigation apps that can do this sort of thing, but I was specifically thinking of a hardware device. Something to take on Tom-Tom and the others.

  3. April 7, 2010
    Reply

    I believe the phrase is “there’s an app for that” http://www.google.com/mobile/navigation/index.html although I seem to remember some fuss about them not being allowed to release it outside the US for one reason or another (something to do with a european patent on turn-by-turn navigation or something silly)

    Apps aside – why have an extra device when your phone can do it all for you?

    All that you’d get with a tomtom that you wouldn’t get with an android would be a windscreen mount and a charging cable – both easy enough aftermarket products to come up with.

  4. rats
    April 8, 2010
    Reply

    Turn by turn patent sounds somewhat familier (and very silly) but if a tom tom is a device you pay x for and an additional x each time period for updates to the maps (which is how i beleive it works) and the phone can do web querying… Why get a second device?

    I agree with paul, a mount and car charger are cheap aftermarket products. I doubt google will bring out a direct competitor in that market when they already have one.

  5. Jonathan
    April 8, 2010
    Reply

    I guess you’re right. I’ve already seen aftermarket windscreen cradles for the iPhone, which has Tom Tom and at least one other brand of sat nav software available in the app store.

    I’ve never really looked into the Android as a sat nav platform. Probably because I already have a Tom Tom 🙂

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