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Archive for the ‘gps’ tag

September 25th, 2013 at 8:34 am

Find Your Misplaced Stuff with Tile

Ever play the Hotter/Colder game as a kid or with your kids? You hunt for a hidden something and the hider tells you whether you are getting closer or farther away from it as you search.

Wouldn’t it be great if whenever you misplaced something, you had a voice telling you hotter or colder while you pull up cushions or empty your purse?

It’s coming! There’s a tracking device soon to be released called Tile  that is the equivalent of Hotter/Holder for your stuff. It’s a small device, about the size of a matchbook, that you attach to whatever you might misplace like keys, a phone or laptop. Gee, do they make one for your mind?

Seriously though, how great is an app that lets you know if you’re getting closer or farther from your lost item. And if it’s your phone that gets lost, you can log into your account from someone else’s phone to find it. You can even turn on the audio and have it beep at you as you get closer.

Even better, if your something gets lost out in the world you can enlist the help of the rest of the Tile user community to help locate it. That’s like having a search party on call if say your bike gets stolen. How cool is that?

Tile is scheduled to be released this winter and has launched a Kickstarter campaign to make that a reality. For $18.95, you can preorder yours and help the process along. I can think of a certain person (ahem, spouse) who could really use one of these for his phone, which is quite frequently somewhere other than where he is.

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April 23rd, 2013 at 12:07 pm

WAZE – GPS Only Better

Imagine having an app that gives you the shortest route to take on the way to your destination. Of course, we have GPS for that. Now imagine a network of people checking in to let you know what the traffic conditions are on that route, right now, as you head out.

That sounds pretty good to me. And that’s the idea behind the Social GPS app called Waze.

Face it, depending on where you live and travel to, getting there can really test your patience. Construction, accidents and everyday volume can make it more like a nightmare. Waze aims to bring some light into that dark place called the daily commute.

Simply check into the Waze app on your smartphone or tablet and input your destination. It works like any GPS navigation device but takes it to the next level.

With the Waze app open as you drive, your progress, or lack thereof, will be captured (anonymously) along with that of the other Wazers. The result is a crowdsourced traffic feed that lets you know where the pain points are. If there’s a problem, the Waze navigator will suggest an alternate route and tell you how to get to it. How helpful is that?

There are other features to the app that make it even more useful. You can use the Report menu to select preset reasons for the slowdown, be it an accident, police activity, construction or just heavy volume to let the other Wazers know why it’s taking so long. This can help you decide  whether to re-route (construction) or wait it out (accident being cleared). You can even submit a picture of the issue. Genius. No more sitting there wondering WHY you’re just sitting there!

Another nifty feature allows you to check the gas stations along the way and compare prices. Love that! And if you use the app with Facebook, Twitter or Foursquare, you can coordinate with your friends on arrival times. For a quick demo video, click here.

If you thought your current GPS was good, Waze brings in the social functions and takes it up a notch or three. Now, if it could only do the driving for you. Don’t laugh, that feature isn’t so far fetched anymore.

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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