When I first read the news on the Google Maps TomTom integration I was pretty excited. While I use a variety of devices I have a TomTom 510 in my car and could definitely see sending myself details from my computer, phone or tablet on the go as new POI or places of interest. The excitement ended though when I realized how this actually works. It’s sync and go. Syncing, or even backing up my GPS is not even remotely close to something I do with any regularity. When new maps or features are announced I check them out, but usually the TomTom stays in my car.
I don’t understand why I can’t send directly through my phone’s data connection which is used for a variety of other services like traffic and weather. I can’t imagine that the location and name info is more than a few hundred kilobytes and could easily be bluetoothed or actually downloaded in a more active setting.
BMW actually uses their Drive Assist program to do exactly this:
While I realize this is not only model specific, but country (Germany only) specific as well. I’m not familiar with how Drive Assist works, but assume it’s a subscription like you find in other enhanced services within various cars. If there was a standard format to manage POI it would be pretty simple to “beam” a contact card or saved location from my N95 to the TomTom or even my Nokia Tablet’s GPS system, but sadly there is co compatibility with any of these devices except to get a data connection for updating traffic.
I see a near term future where Nokia’s recent acquisition of Navteq connects all of these dots. The device already knows where I am… The device can speak to the network to update additional info as needed and lastly if I am using more than one thing, the devices speak to each other Once we can nail down “the basics” in connected navigation we are likely to see other things like user contributed updates, enhanced services and of course advertising.