smokerings of my mind..

Dash – a potential ‘wow’ device

Few weeks back, I came across a post on Dash. I have been reading about Dash for over an year now – that they are building the next-gen GPS… they are trying to make the GPS interactive… attempting to be the iPhone of the PND industry (portable navigation industry).

Few really cool Dash innovations that I like (theoretically.. haven’t played with the unit yet) –

– Real time traffic flow: Dash takes data from the Dash Express units (installed in customers cars) and calculates traffic flows in real time.. and they say, it needs only about 100 units in a medium size city for this to work effectively.

– Send to car feature: Dash units have a built in GPRS. You can send addresses / search results to your car unit from your PC.

– Live search: It has built in Yahoo search engine.

And, now that Dash has opened up its platform for third party developers, there will be more of web-based content available to us in the car… and soon, we will be able to locate which of our friends are available and are in nearby area, look up for movie shows running in nearby theaters, buy movie tickets, make dinner (restaurant) reservations.. all with Dash… on the road.. while we’re stuck in traffic. Time well spent. Life made simpler. 🙂


May 17, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why FriendFeed is worth considering

I love FriendFeed.

This morning I came across an article that explains – why you should use FriendFeed. While I don’t subscribe to the notion of any ‘shoulds’ in life 😉 , the article gives few good logical reasons why you may want to look at FF.

May 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Integration of multiple identities, accounts we have..

We have multiple ids, identities spread across multiple networking groups, like LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook, Amazon.. Logically, there needs to be some kind of integration. Well, it’s starting to happen now with Open Social, Data Portability, and now Facebook Connect.. An interesting presentation on this by Charlene Li from Forrester Research.

Now, another similar problem needs to be solved – we have these multiple credit cards, store cards, insurance card, etc. There should be a single card (or some such thing) which has details of all my card account, and when I swipe this card, my various card accounts show up and I can choose which one to use. I read that things are happening in this direction, with some initiatives being taken by the big credit card guys.. then there’s biometric stuff, or pay-thru-mobile.. From what I gather, this is not one of those problems that can be solved by the right technology, rather the key will be the willingness of the leading players like Visa, Mastercard, Amex to move towards such convergence/integration. This problem needs to be solved soon – I am tired of carrying all these cards.

May 10, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Billshrink – promising to shrink my bill..

Learnt of Billshrink – a valley based startup, a couple of days back. Their promise is to reduce monthly bills of our commonly used services and products.

“Our goal at BillShrink is to be a trusted resource that consumers will leverage for researching purchase decisions across a number of product/service categories.”

They propose to do this by first getting information of our current plan/service, how we use it, where are we located, etc (basically all the logically imp data one should have before recommending alternates) and then they throw up alternate options mentioning how much could I save by shifting to each of those options.

Currently, they have the wireless channel on – more categories are promised soon. I tried using it to see how much can I reduce my wireless bill – it asked me about information like, my home and work location, how many minutes do I average, my cell number, my preferences, access to my current wireless bill (to analyze my calls – my calls normally go to which carriers, time of call, etc). It took a lot of time analyzing, and telling me my results will come up soon… after about 20-minutes I gave up.. so I still do not have any comparative results from them to see how good/bad are the options they promise to provide. The product is still buggy, however they just launched last month, so one can be a bit patient with them for some time.

If you look at it, conceptually a service like this is a killer!! … reminds me of Geico promises of saving us $$$ (well Geico actually did save me a lot on car insurance). Whether Billshrink cracks this or some one else does, this is indeed a useful service that addresses a real pain point. It is not just another cool idea/service, but one that has real business potential.

May 5, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | 2 Comments