TomTom Patents Photo Based GPS

Solution for the "WHICH SECOND EXIT?!" bugbear?

While Sat Nav manufacturers continue to cram their devices with ever more features the one thing few of them seem to spend any time improving is their mapping. I mean how many times have you looked at those little cartoon drawings and thought ”’Which left?!”’

To this end TomTom is aiming to make an extremely welcome breakthrough by incorporating digital photography images to provide real world reference at crucial turning points and it has submitted an application to the European Patent Office.

According to the rather ambiguous document rather than download photography TomTom is suggesting that the device itself could have an integrated camera that would take snaps at the right time. This approach however could limit the placing of a GPS unit to the windscreen within a vehicle. Of course, the other argument is whether we should really be studying the intricacies of digital photography while driving given that GPS systems already make us look away from the screen one heck of a lot – voice commands or not.

In truth this is probably a discussion for the powers that be, but if it stops us heading down the wrong road and into a fit of Road/Gadget Rage that can only be good for both ourselves, other drivers and the health of our TomToms.

As for a release date? Anyone’s guess. Really. Have one…

TomTom Patent Application

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