Navigation Help

One of the most interesting fields in technology right now is navigation. Navigation systems have truly taken the world by storm: Almost every American now relies on some form of computer navigation system to get from point ‘A’ to point ‘I’ve-never-been-there-before’. We now live in a world where people blindly follow navigation instructions from computers, even if they defy common sense. Party hosts often note if there’s a turn you should override your GPS guidance on — even though we all know we’ll obey the voice in the box.

The thing is, I don’t really ever need full blown turn by turn directions — and I suspect you don’t either. In fact, most of the time I just need a little help. I usually know how to get to the general area of where I’m going, I just don’t know exactly which building it is on the block, or exactly what street to turn down.

What I could really use is a system that says: “head toward the place that cuts your hair. I’ll let you know when you need to do anything differently.” If you think about it, our cars and cellphones already know the places we frequent: the places that we don’t require turn-by-turn directions to get to.

So why shouldn’t these systems allow us to just focus on driving (a daunting enough task for most) and only interject when we need to by taken off the path that we already know.

A lot of the places I go to are located in an area I’m familiar with: I know roughly how to get there, rather than how to get to the precise location.

Give me Siri guidance that says: “Head towards Tacoma Boys. It’s a block or two past that — I’ll let you know when you’re close.” And then, when I get close, turn-by-turn kicks in to make sure I get to the exact spot.

90% of the time, I can get 90% of the way to anywhere I’m going. Give me a navigation system that only helps for the last 10%, so that I can concentrate on driving instead of being annoyed by the bitch-in-the-box for the entire journey.

Originally posted for members on: May 13, 2013
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