GPS devices have been going through a sort of rebirth. These humble mapping gadgets have gone from simple tools to more complex device that now include all kinds of rest stop details, road detour information, and other useful bits. Up until now, however, these devices were only as good as the facts and map intelligence that was relayed by various manufacturers (and advertisers). So, if you want to stop at a restaurant along your route, your GPS might show you where a local McDonald’s is located, but you may or may not see that small mom and pop shop.
With the dawn of crowdsourced apps, however, comes a new kind of GPS system entirely. The future of GPS isn’t in one device or another, but in the way that these devices work and how they are part of social media, users, and integrated into certain vehicles.
First, There Was Apple’s Eye’s Free
Just a few days ago, Apple announced a Siri update. This update will come in the form of an integrated GPS/Siri system called “Eye’s Free.” Eyes Free will act a lot like Siri, but this new Apple hands-free and eyes-free system will be directly wired into certain vehicles. So far, Apple has mentioned BMW, Mercedes, Jaguar, GM, Land Rover, Audi, Chrysler, Honda, and Toyota as possible options. With the new Eyes Free system, GPS navigation and details will be voice controlled, much like the current iOS Siri system.
Asking Siri questions about a route while you drive is certainly futuristic, but it’s also a notion that vehicle owners seem to want. Consumers are seeking the next best thing in GPS so much so that many other companies are toying with similar voice-activated GPS systems. One of those companies happens to be Waze. If this name sounds familiar, that’s because Waze is an extremely popular Android and iOS app already. How can the Waze app become part of the GPS sphere?
Why Waze Will Make Waves
Waze is an app that allows users to add comments and details about roads, traffic, speed traps, restaurants along routes, gas prices, and pretty much everything else that you’d want to know while traveling to the app. Using the crowdsource model, Waze users always know what’s happening on any given road at all times, just by looking at this app.
Recently, Bloomberg announced that Waze is currently working on GPS mapping software. Further, the company will work with certain automobile manufacturers when it comes to implementing Waze systems inside of various vehicles. I’m guessing that certain vehicle owners will be able to input details about routes, and that the Waze GPS will also include a voice activation system, much like Siri, though Waze has not confirmed any of these assumptions quite yet. Waze is expected to make an announcement sometime within the next few weeks, though, so this is something to keep an eye on. Integrated hands and eyes-free crowdsourced GPS systems aren’t the norm quite yet (and these systems aren’t kink-free yet), but it certainly looks like GPS is heading in the Siri-type direction.