Dash unveils new Dash Express GPS unit

Dash, a GPS company with an eye on connectivity has updated their hardware and software for the beta testers. The product should be ready for shipping some time early 2008. The updated model includes a bigger screen, better speaker, and increased battery life. Here’s the new design, pretty slick…

Dash Express Angle

What sets the dash apart from the other GPS units on the market is connectivity, it has a built in Wi-Fi and cellular for two way connectivity. Dash automatically updates software and will let you know if there are traffic jams or just slow downs by tracking other Dash users locations and speeds. All this data from all Dash users is stored, minus any identifying characteristics, and is used to help you find the fastest way to where you are going based on both current and historical traffic patterns, you’re not going to get that with any other GPS unit on the market. Add integration with Yahoo! search and the ability for you or anyone else to instantly send directions to your car over the net and you have an amazing little unit, a little slice of Web 2.0 to carry around with you wherever you go! The estimated price for the Dash Express is going to be around $650 give or take $100. Subscription for the connectivity will be around $15, maybe worth it in a major city but they’ll need to lower prices to get acceptance in large and medium sized cities.

Travel Toolkit Added

Lots of LuggageI’ve added the travel toolkit to the list of toolkits available.  I welcome comments on the toolkits and requests for additions.  There is a bias towards software and web-pages but I don’t mean to fill the toolkits with these exclusively, so keep that in mind if you have any suggestions!

FlightAware – Know the exact location of a plane

FlightAware AnimationOne of the most best time killers on a flight is the little display that shows you exactly where in the world your flight is.  FlightAware provides this same information but puts it on the web for anyone who might need to track a flight.  Want to know where your loved ones are as they fly to and from home?  It’s really simple, you just put in the flight number and it takes you to a nifty little map that includes a time remaining counter.  Stuck in the airport and the desk tells you your plane is delayed?  Pull up the flight information and find out how close the plane is!  The picture above is another feature, you can track the flights around an airport.  I was bored so I threw together an animation of about 10 minutes that you can see if you click the above thumbnail.  As you can see… (more…)

Seatguru – No more guessing when you select your seat.

Plane SeatsEver been faced with the seat selection screen when booking your plane ticket and wishing you knew a LOT more than the tiny little plane diagram could tell you?  Well, Seatguru is the place to go when you are faced with that decision.  They’ve looked at everything that makes a seat good and what makes a seat bad.  The last time I flew out to San Francisco I had great seats every time.  No seats that don’t recline, no seats with a bad view of the movie screen, and no seats with luggage and leg room taken up by those under seat air handlers!  There is a lot more to be learned from the site too, if you are trying to decide what airline to take you can check out their comparison chart to make sure their seats have a nice recline angle, find out if you get your own personal in -seat TV screen, or if you might be able to plug in your laptop or DVD player.  There really is a wealth of information available and the notes and color coding on the plane diagram make picking the perfect seat a breeze!

AirfareWatchDog – Great Deals, Messy Site

Air Fare Watch Dog Cards  Thanks to reader Mike Martin for pointing out AirfareWatchDog.com to me.  I had never heard of the site, but it’s pretty unique and you can find some really good deals.  Instead of crawling for good flight deals, the folks over at AirfareWatchDog go looking for the deals manually.  This approach lets them snag some deals from carriers that don’t lend themselves to a robotic approach.  For this reason alone I will be checking this site AND FareCast before I book any flights.  The deals are organized by city and each city has a RSS feed associated with it, a feature that makes the site vastly more usable.  You can tell this isn’t a big budget operation, they have crammed ads onto just about every place imaginable and are willing to send you free cards (That’s their picture at the top there) for word of mouth advertising.  I think that paying a consultant to help with SEO and ad layout would be a worthwhile expenditure, because this site has a lot to offer air travelers and many might be turned off by the jumbled pages of the site.