Microsoft's Next Big Innovation: Google Maps Meets Grand Theft Auto

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What’s new with GPS? There were the 3D maps, then traffic information with live refresh every two minutes so to help others avoid heavy traffic jams and GPS watch. What’s next?


Surprise the next big innovation will come from Microsoft. It is Grand Theft Auto meets Google Map. The company have just granted a patent that is designed to make its maps more pedestrian-friendly meaning not only just when you’re driving, but even when walking. I think this is a truly innovative idea. This feature is designed to help you avoid certain dangerous area. You know two blocks can make a big difference in many cities.

This “mind-the-ghetto” feature will be a killer application in future Windows phones. So while you’re roaming the streets of LA or Chicago, your smart phones will send GPS to a system that maps the crime statistics as well as the nature of crimes, day of time happened and frequency. Not sure how this will impact real estate prices or retail rent.

And they may allow you to do a trial run in the neighborhood as downloadable scenes in Grand Theft Auto on your X-Box? I am sure there is a disclaimer that you need to click ‘accept’, meaning that if you do get mugged in what was identified as a safe area it would not be their fault.

It is definitely a useful feature for parents to make sure the kids are not allowed hanging out in those areas and will it prompt them and send a message to the parents? If you use a little more imagination, there is so much untapped innovation with LBS and GPS.

GPS is not legal everywhere. Apple will be selling its iPhone in Egypt, and the people there will have to go without one of the star features: GPS navigation. Yes, because GPS is illegal in Egypt (Can you believe this?) and I think it is the only country in the world but I might be wrong. Apple is forced to take out the feature because there is a ban on the import of all GPS-enabled devices into Egypt. The ban has been in effect for years.

The Egyptian government considers GPS a military-grade technology that can be used to help pinpoint the location of government facilities. But if you so happen to be traveling in the desert, you’re advised to buy one, but only from the black market which you need a GPS to locate.

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