The idea of using a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver to many drivers has always been, for the most part, appealing. No matter how well we know some parts of town or memorize all the secret one-way shortcuts through a city, there are times when our spatial reasoning will simply shut down and lead us astray. Most trusty GPS receivers can get us to an unknown location or out of a mess with relative ease by readjusting our route when we get off track or maybe even offering the road less traveled in order to avoid nasty traffic jams.
This is what any typical GPS will do for drivers, and some higher end models will even go the extra mile, providing services that give useful information on restaurants, hotels, movie theaters and other important points of interest for everyday road warriors. Some have even begun to offer entertainment features, such as MP3 player capabilities, Bluetooth connectivity and video.
Despite all of these perks, many think it's time for someone in the car navigation market to reveal the next step on the GPS evolution timeline. If you've paid any attention to the electronics blogs over the past two years, you might believe that Dash Navigation is offering just that. Back in 2006, the company announced the Dash Express, the "first two-way, Internet-connected GPS navigation system." After several years of tweaks and redesigns, the Dash Express was finally released in February 2008, and its makers originally claimed the device would offer two major new innovations to the typical GPS that will render all others "practically obsolete."
Less than eight months later, however, Dash Navigation surprised the tech industry by announcing that it would end production on the Dash Express, and any hardware associated with it, to focus solely on software development. The company cited difficult economic times and tougher competition from smartphones offering similar technologies. Customers who purchased a Dash Express can still use it as it was meant to be used, and we, of course, can still take a look at what it can do.
What exactly are the two big features the Dash Express boasts? What are some of the other typical GPS features it offers? What powers the Dash Express? Is it the game-changing GPS the company meant it to be, and how have critics and consumers reacted to it so far? What are Dash Navigation's plans for the future, and could the still influence the GPS market?