Dash Express Reviewed

Mar 27, 2008
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If you don’t remember the Dash, it’s the new GPS unit that was co-developed with OpenMoko, and actually utilizes the OpenMoko Platform. It has WiFi and GPRS built in that allow it to do all sorts of cool things including search Yahoo on the fly for points of interest or upload, wirelessly, addresses, POIs, or even geological RSS feed, KML lists, things of that nature.

You can wirelessly send any and all of that data do a Dash GPS unit from a web interface, or, most of it, can be searched for and found right on the Dash. Another use of the WiFi and GPRS networks is that you can use it to update traffic information, and other Dash users, like a P2P network, can update the information on your Dash. Basically if 5 dash users are on road x going 0 miles per hour and your route was going to take you that way, it will re-route you.

It also doesn’t just navigate you on one route, right now the network is just using historical traffic data, but its still pretty accurate, anyways, it gives you the suggested route, and up to two other routes, you choose one, and it starts guiding you down that route, but as you go it colors the other roads along the road according to how congested they are, so, if you can visibly see a jam that the Dash isn’t picking up, up ahead, then you have the information available on screen to make a decision to choose the least congested alternate route.

Overall, all the reviewers that got one were pretty amazed with it. They all had some quibbles with what one reviewer called “amateur” mistakes, just little features that should be there, but weren’t. However the Dash can be updated automatically over the air and they said that they’d constantly be working on updates for the Maps, Historical Data, and other features, and, as the network of Dash users grows, the data will become less historical, and more real-time and accurate. Overall, everyone said it was worth the $400 and the $10-12 per month for the Dash, especially if you drive in an area that frequently suffers from traffic congestion.

[via Gizmodo, TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and Engadget]


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