I had an idea this morning for a new concept in automotive/portable computers. I haven't spent much time developing this idea, but I want to put it out there for the world to pick over. It's possible others have already thought of it, and equally possible that others have already implemented it. If so, I'd like to know where to find it. If not, maybe somebody might like to.
The idea is to make the "Auto PC" (or any mobile computer) a participating member of a global mesh of similar devices reporting on weather, traffic, construction, accidents, and breaking news events. This would involve establishing a Web 2.0 application (we'll refer to this application as "SuperFeed" for lack of a better name) offering feeds on any of the above events tagged with geographic coordinates. Devices would be equipped with an always-on internet connection from one of the major cell providers (at least until there is "universal wireless internet access") and a GPS receiver, as well as optional components such as weather sensors, cameras, etc. The device would regularly poll SuperFeed and pull any new events tagged for it's location. It could then take advantage of that information to inform the user, update routes, etc.
SuperFeed of course is worthless without being constantly updated on everything happening everywhere in the world. So SuperFeed should have two inputs. First, it should accept submissions from member devices whenever that device has something important to report. Simple information may include current GPS coordinates, speed, and direction of motion. More advanced devices could report weather conditions. A user could press a button on the display to take a picture of an accident or other news event and automatically report it.
Another important input should involve aggregating blogs with geographical tags. Blogs containing localized information would be automatically picked up by SuperFeed and important information would be published to those most in need of knowing about it. This could be a great mechanism for targeted advertising, publishing event information, road work announcements, and breaking news.
"Free Idea" is a column published by me, Jim Phillips. All of these ideas are original, conceived by me. These ideas are not patented, and are published openly in the hopes that someone will make them a reality. If any of these ideas have already been implemented, I would very much like to know more about the product, project, or company which has done the work, so that I can write about it on this blog. I'm also willing to work with venture capitalists to bring these ideas to life, but if you think you can develop my idea without me, please do, and let me know so that I can give you my support and blessing -- free of charge!