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Apple’s New Patent Could Change Navigation Forever

Posted by jnolan | Posted in Consumer Electronics, New Products, Uncategorized | Posted on 30-07-2014

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I know you have all thought about this a million times, because I know that I think about it and even complain about it on a daily basis. What if a navigation app could not only give you the shortest distance or quickest general route… but could actually give you directions based on how many traffic lights, stop signs, and just generally annoying obstacles were along the path. Well, my friends, Apple’s new patent is just for that. It seems they are trying to make our lives easier and better.

On Tuesday the US Patent and Trademark office granted their new patent. It is called “Routing based on detected stops”. It is basically crowd-sourced navigation but taken up a few levels.

It’s not like different companies haven’t already attempted to do things like this. The problem is just that the result is always ineffective and doesn’t really work right. Waze and Google Maps both have crowd-sourcing things going for them, and it is really nice because we can get some real time data on where we are going and what is happening along the way. The problem is that there is just no way to be in depth enough to be incredibly useful. There is no way they are going to detect stop signs or stop lights or anything like that and take them into account when calculating your route. This idea is for a smarter system that will be much better, more productive, and will let us know about as many obstacles as possible.

The patent that Apple filed basically explains a navigation system that is going to use the GPS in whatever device you are using to collect any sort of stops that it detects you are making. This includes every stop sign, light, traffic jam, anything. After it collects the data from your GPS, it is analyzed to determine what kind of stop it is (stop sign or traffic light), and then it is uploaded to a remote server and shared with anyone else who is using the same GPS app.

This will allow you to ACTUALLY choose the quickest route to your destination. It will also greatly improve the estimated trip times and make them way more accurate. This could also even be able to tell you the best time of day to make your trip based on traffic data that it has collected.

Now, just because a patent has been filed and granted doesn’t always mean that an actual product is ever going to see the light of day. BUT, this is a REALLY good idea. And I feel like if anyone has the power and resources to make it a reality, Apple would be the company to make it happen.

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