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A Car Navigation System That Takes Pictures 137

Posted by timothy
from the stealing-back-my-best-ideas dept.
Brandon Miniman writes "Navman has brought to market the first in-car navigation system with a built in camera, the iCN 750. The camera lets you take pictures of places you've been. Geographical coordinates are then assigned to each picture, so that you can bring up a gallery, and choose your destination by clicking on a picture." Add to this an always-on, all-sides video camera to document that it was the minivan that strayed into your lane, and it'll be even better.
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A Car Navigation System That Takes Pictures

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  • Just what I need... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by wesley96 (934306)
    ...except that the camera itself isn't impressive.
    Somehow, I feel I need a 'real' digital camera that has the GPS and the map built-in instead.
  • snaps! (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrSquirrel (976630) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:52AM (#15627448)
    We could use this to take pictures of women and associate the women with their locations - a kind of new-age black book! ...now, if only us /.ers could get women.
    • Re:snaps! (Score:5, Funny)

      by bitt3n (941736) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:43AM (#15627780)
      We could use this to take pictures of women and associate the women with their locations - a kind of new-age black book!

      I've tried that.. the problem is that their location keeps changing, and the faster you take the pictures, the faster their location changes in some random new direction.

      I'd explain why this happens, but it involves a lot of math.

      • something to do with Heisenberg's uncertain kitty not letting its naked singularity out of bag
      • Great - Heisenberg's principles applied to time,location, and speed of women.


        Where else but slashdot ?


        Oy !

  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:54AM (#15627456) Journal

    Why haven't more vendors of mapping technology done this sooner? This has long been a feature I've wanted... I don't know how long I've waited, from the first Microsoft and DeLorme mapping software and mapping software -- and having been fooled a couple of times into thinking one could associate pictures with map locations.

    Until now, the closest I've found to doing something like this was Google maps -- and even that felt a little clunky in the interface (talking about Google Earth, the Windows application). And of course, with Google Map API many things are possible.

    Congratulations to Navman for integrating in a clever and useful way pictures. (It'd be nice to be able to take your own pictures, and associate via some menu -- I'm wondering if they've provided that capability.) I'm in the market to replace a car GPS -- Navman has placed themselves high on the short list.

    Any readers have feedback on the navigational ergonomics of Navman? (Very important, as I've become quite fond of TomTom's excellent ergonomics.)

    • Do you know about Amazon's city imaging project [a9.com]? I use this all the time to find businesses on major streets. It's a work in progress, but seems to be easily scalable.

      And for cool factor, I can find my house [a9.com].

    • Check out this cool site ( Panorama Explorer [panoramaexplorer.com]) which is based on Google Map API. It's a photo sharing site which allows you to tag your photos on a Google Map. It also can place photos on the correct location if GPS track data (GPX format) is provided. At the moment there are few digital cameras w. built in GPS receivers that offer the ability to store GPS data in the EXIF header. But there is a workaround - just synchronize the GPS receiver time w. your digital camera clock. Or you can calculate the time of
    • I've been thinking about this, after cludging route maps to my house and my wedding together in photoshop it'd be great if someone could combine, say, flikr with google maps' routeplanner. showing you major landmarks along and near to your route. so you can see from the map that the roundabout you're heading for is after you go under the blue steel train bridge... that one there? that'll be it!
    • Anyone intereted in the geomatics of car navigation will probably find (shameless plug) slashgeo.org [slashgeo.org] very useful. There's a Transportation topic [slashgeo.org]. Using this story (slashdot's dupe ;-), will get more links regarding geocoding photos [slashgeo.org]. And you can read this interesting story about Navigating using photos [slashgeo.org].

      But I know /. readers are sometimes lazy.. (I am! ;-) here's a part of the article [shinyshiny.tv] (from last March! slashdot's late ;-): "Navman's latest wheeze is this GPS in-car Sat Nav device that will take you to your de
    • There's a PC/Win prog called "Fugawi Global Navigator" that can associate images and/or sounds with waypoints or GPS fixes. I know it interfaces with PDA/Smartphones too, so it may use them as a camera for input instead of just using a regular pre-existing image or sound file.

      Some cool features; it can use nearly any map source, standard USGS maps, NOAA marine charts, GeoTIFF's and aerial/satellite imagery. It has 3-D elevation views and GPS driving assist.

      No, I don't work for them :)

      I'm not as sure, but
  • ...if I one day find pictures of an unfamiliar garage I will know that not only has KITT been reborn inside my car, but he is also cheating on me? :/
  • Hopefully they will make an adapter for my Ford Festiva. The cigarette lighter still works very well, and I don't smoke.
    • Could you check the chassis-number of your Ford Festiva?
      The exact model of the cigarette lighter depends on which version of the Festiva you have. Older versions of the Festiva have a circular connector roughly the size of your finger, if you have one of those you'll probably have to solder a few wires in it, otherwise you should be able to find a decent converter for less than $80.
  • by sTeF (8952) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:57AM (#15627475) Homepage Journal
    what about my rights to privacy? where i live we still have at least the illusion of privacy >:)
    what about restricted areas (numbers sadly increasing again nowadays), where photos are not allowed?
    what about my medication battling my paranoia?
    • what about my medication battling my paranoia?
      I don't think you have to worry about that. Your paranoia has obviously won.
    • by john82 (68332) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:07AM (#15627536)
      What about your insurance company?

      I would think the major insurers would love to have an "always on" camera to monitor outside activity and inside activity. It would make such a nice complement to the acceleration, speed, distance and braking data they can get from your car's on-board computer.

      Customer: This other car came out of nowhere and ran me off the road!
      Insurer: Well we don't find any evidence of another vehicle, Sir, but according to the on-board video surveill... er, protection system, you were drinking a beer and having an animated conversation on your cell phone when you went off the road.
      • by Skidge (316075) *
        I'm no fan of insurance companies, but couldn't something like this be a good thing? They could penalize the bad drivers more to the benefit of the good drivers, saving those of us who don't drink a beer and have animated conversations on our cell phones.
        • But surely there's something you do that you don't want them to know. Ever changed a radio station while driving? Some insurer would use that as an excuse to raise your rates.
        • no, it's not a good thing. You're assuming that this will allow you to get lower rates, but in reality what this does is allow them to charge some people MORE.
        • Under the moto: if you don't do anything wrong, you don't have anything to hide? How long till it becomes mandatory and that police just ask you for the records each month?

          You don't have anything to hide, right?
          • Under the moto: if you don't do anything wrong, you don't have anything to hide?

            No, under the moto that I'm already getting penalized for falling within the demographics of other people who happen to be bad drivers. If insurance companies can get more accurate statistical models, there are sure to be some companies who will "reward good drivers", as some already claim to do.

            How long till it becomes mandatory and that police just ask you for the records each month?

            I'd say it would be quite a long time for t

      • Why a camera? (Score:3, Interesting)

        by GroeFaZ (850443)
        A blackbox like those in planes would be a lot better, cheaper, more accurate, reliable, standardizable, and would raise less privacy concerns than installing a bunch of cameras for visually recording all driver's actions and the surrounding traffic. A blackbox would just have to record the last, say, 10 minutes before an accident, parameters like the value of the speed indicator, actual speed of the individual tires, motor RPM, G-forces, steering angle, state of the electric system (blinkers, headlights, f
        • There's three of these comments saying some of the same things, I will respond to yours because I get to rebut two points at once.

          A blackbox like those in planes would be a lot better, cheaper, more accurate, reliable, standardizable, and would raise less privacy concerns than installing a bunch of cameras for visually recording all driver's actions and the surrounding traffic.

          OBD-II ECUs record all engine parameters for some time before and after any fault that lights the MIL (malfunction indicator

      • There are actually already systems out there that do just this and I happen to be one of the people working on them ;) And yes, it originated as a dispute over liability after somebody ran into me in my apartment parking lot. People better start watching out before they swing their car doors open into somebody else's car.
      • by Gulthek (12570)
        Sounds good to me. Just tie that into the car's black box so that only the last five (or whatever) minutes of video are stored and only accessible by non-trivial means.

        Hmm, if this could somehow track good driving (stopping fully at every stop sign, before a right turn on red, properly signaling, etc) and reduce your insurance rates for a significant good driving track record (and vice versa) that would be pretty awesome.
    • > what about my rights to privacy?
      well, if you put this in your car, you can delete the photos, their yours.
      if this isn't the case, well you don't know when/if a picture was taken, illusion preserved.
      >what about restricted areas
      these restricted areas, are people with photographic memories allowed to drive past as well? if so, then they must already be recorded.
      > what about my medication battling my paranoia?
      The FBI has many permanent treatment options, do you prefer it in .22 cal, .44 cal, or .50
  • Other Uses (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SomeoneGotMyNick (200685) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @08:58AM (#15627485) Journal
    Does it have a "Non Perspective" or classic GPS view?

    It would be great for Geocaching [geocaching.com] to have a pic of your destination.
  • by tygerstripes (832644) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:00AM (#15627501)
    So, you get some great shots of the view as you plummet off the top of a cliff [bbc.co.uk] or into a river. Fab.
    (May not make sense to non-UK residents)
  • Next step (Score:3, Interesting)

    by www.sorehands.com (142825) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:07AM (#15627539) Homepage
    The next step is to have a built in system. You have the GPS data fed into the 4 images (from each side of the car), that is stored in ram for about 10 minutes while the car is moving. Then when the other car runs the red light, claims the light was green, then claims that you were speeding, you can then save that set of images to prove them wrong. Or, when you get pulled over when the cop says that you were speeding, but you have a record that says you were follong the speed limit.

    • I've actually put a bit of thought into building a system like this - I'm going to try to cover the front quarters with small cameras in the headlights (well, actually under the headlight lens), cover the back with a couple of cameras mounted in the back grille, and have one more somewhere in the interior that gets a shot of the gauges

      I figured I could have it only save ~20-30 minutes of footage on each camera, and simply have a switch on the dashboard that I can use to stop capture
      • GPS input takes out the need for gauges. It can argued that the speedometer is not calibrated, but the police will always testify that their speedometer/radar gun has been calibrated. A GPS can be accurate within .75 mph with no calibration.

        I got stopped for doing 76 in a 75 zone in El Paso.

        Cop: You were going 76 mph.
        Me: No, my GPS said I was going 75.
        Cop: My radar gun is calibrated.
        Me: My GPS uses government satelite signals.
        Cop: The speed limit will be reduced to 65 at sunset.
        Me: I know, my car w
        • Wow the cop stopped you for going 1 over most let you do 5 or more over. Even more on interstates. On I-294 the speed limit is 55 but most traffic does 70+. I was also on the PA turnpike and the cops let me do 70 in a 65.
          • I-294? If you're talking about Chicago traffic, try driving I-90 heading towards O'Hare from the suburbs. In a 55 mph zone, you can comfortably go 85-90, and you'll still get the maniacs that pass you like you're standing still!

            Not that I advocate violating the speed limit, but unless the traffic gets pretty heavy NO ONE is going under 75.

        • The GPS tells you how fast you are going in a straight line tangential to the surface of the earth. If you are going uphill or downhill, your GPS will register lower than the actual speed relative to the roadway. Of course, most cops will not know that, so maybe you'll get lucky.
        • Me: My GPS uses government satelite signals.

          Cop (on radio): Request backup, I have a perp resisting arrest.
          Cop (to you): Step out of the car, please. *WHACK*

          Moral: Don't be a smartass to a cop with something to prove (you know he has something to prove if he pulled you over for what he thought was 1MPH over the limit).
  • Insurance discount (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ewg (158266) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:09AM (#15627544)
    Seriously, could you imagine the insurance discount you'd get if they knew every incidient would be photographed?
  • Rental cars (Score:2, Interesting)

    by bano (410)
    This would be really handy for rental cars, no need for them to give a map of hotels/sights/restraunts any longer.
    Just scroll thru the pics and select the hotel, restraunt, tourist trap, etc... of your liking, then follow the arrows/automated voice.
    • Thanks - that's the first real application I've heard of for this device. Why would I want this unit otherwise? To take a picture of a place means I'd already have to have been there once, right? Which means I can probably find it again, even without the picture. Unless they come preloaded with pictures, but that doesn't seem practical except for relatively small regions.
  • Minivan (Score:2, Funny)

    by KlomDark (6370)
    Yah, but if it was YOU who swerved over in front of the minivan, you're going to want a way to destroy that evidence, quick!
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:15AM (#15627583) Homepage Journal
    now it's cars and minivans. What next, cameras in refrigerators? Never mind. [lginternetfamily.co.uk]


    What is this constant desire to add more fluff, more crap, more ways for things to go wrong, onto items? If I want a picture of something, I'll use a camera. That's what it's designed for. If I want to get back to a place, I'll use a map. That's what it's designed for.

    Every new gadget that gets added to something is one more point of failure. You know why slr cameras of 20 and 30 years ago are still around and working? Because they were designed with one function: to take pictures. They didn't tell you the time, remind you of your appointment or give you directions.

    If you can't find your way around using a map, having a GPS system in your car, now with new and flashy pictures!, isn't going to help.

    • Let's be glad you weren't the one making the decisions when the gasoline engine was invented. Unless, of course you prefer to walk or ride a horse everywhere you go.
      • Let's be glad you weren't the one making the decisions when the gasoline engine was invented. Unless, of course you prefer to walk or ride a horse everywhere you go.

        Me, I ride a bike. But the car only became anywhere near as successful long after gasoline engines were first invented.

        Also, when automobiles first started appearing on the roads, there were comparable numbers of gasoline-, electric-, and steam-powered vehicles. The primary reason for gasoline engines taking off so well was Henry Ford's manufa

    • by maggard (5579) <michael@michaelmaggard.com> on Thursday June 29, 2006 @10:06AM (#15627953) Homepage Journal

      I call BS.

      "If I want to get back to a place, I'll use scratchings in dirt. That's what it's designed for.

      I use a GPS all of the time. I don't know about "smooth wombat" but I find myself in places I don't know well all of the time, trying to get to other places I don't know well. Plugging the address into my GPS and getting turn-by-turn directions gets me where I need to be quickly, effortlessly, and safely.

      Furthermore I often find I'm not sure where I am at all, and in Massachusetts it's customary to label only side-streets, not the big street you're driving down for miles trying to figure out what it's name is. Oh, and lets not forget after dark, when finding much less reading a street name signs is almost impossible. Maps are great if you know where you are on them, not if you don't.

      Then lets consider what what my GPS also offers. Nearby services, want a restaurant, there's a list a sorted by distance. Need a gas-station? Last evening when I was running late I could see on my GPS display the gas station 'so helpfully' listed on the highway sign was in truth several miles off the exit, while at the exit after that one there were two much closer. Later I needed a book to bring a friend suddenly in the ER - Look, there's a Barnes & Nobles a half mile away, never had any idea it was there. Need directions to Beth Israel Hospital? 49.5 miles, and even though I used to contract there I was well away from any route I would have thought to use.

      Sneer and say how in the old days you'd pull out maps & flashlights & ask strangers by the roadside who don't even know what road they're _on_ much less how to get to Main Street for directions, I'll be buzzing by listening to "Next Left in 600 yards" and changing lanes well in advance.

      TomTom's "Jane" voice is my muse, and call her the "bitch in a box" if you will she gets me where I'm going with no huhu. Sure she often prefers the direct route over the better route, insists that I can use the emergency-vehicles-exit off of the Mass. Turnpike, and that Weybosset St. in Providence RI is 2-way, but with a bit of common sense she's a great companion. Oh, and the conference last year with the highway accident in front? Everyone else was in traffic for up to 4 hours, I sat for 5 minutes in it, tapped out a request for an alternate route, and after going through the back of an industrial park, through a very nice neighborhood, and over (what appeared in the dark to be) a mountain, I pulled up to the back door of my hotel 20 minutes later. Way to go Jane TomTom!

      Oh, and cellphone? How do you think I found out my best friend was in the ER, and what he needed?

    • If you can't find your way around using a map, having a GPS system in your car, now with new and flashy pictures!, isn't going to help.

      Maps are large, unwieldy pieces of paper. GPS systems can tell you "turn left here". The map won't do that. You don't have to refold the GPS if you drive off the page.

      • ... it's the camera. GPS turn-by-turn navigation sounds excellent and I'll probably buy it someday. But a camera? Why the hell would I want to look at a bunch of pictures to try to figure out which of these vaguely similar looking stores is really that True Value in Chesapeake, VA, that I used to use and need to get back to? I just want to look up the NAME of the place.

        I get that different people have different needs, but I have a hard time believing that anyone will find this useful enough to actually pay
      • You don't have to refold the GPS if you drive off the page.

        You've never missed four turns while in a twisty maze of one-way streets before because it takes your GPS too long to figure out a new path after you missed the last one until it's too late to make the turn.

        Yeah, I've nearly folded my GPS before when I was finished with it. "Nearly folded" it right off the dashboard, the stupid piece of junk...
    • Humans are highly visual creatures. Now, they're also highly silly creatures, always attracted by bright shiny gadgets and what not. But to play devils advocate (I'm totally with you on the "one more point of failure" issue). A camera on a GPS unit helps people like my wife who don't remember street names, but sights at the location they're going to. An address is often not shown or placed in such a way that you can't see it till you're well past, and if it's a place you only go a few times a year, and you
    • If you can't find your way around using a map, having a GPS system in your car, now with new and flashy pictures!, isn't going to help.

      Um, no. You can program the GPS, and have it actually talk you through directions while you're driving. If you're a single person on a trip by yourself, you have to stop the car everytime you need to reference the map.

      Also, a GPS unit will tell you when you've gotten off course. Last time my husband and I went map-traveling, we ended up over 80 miles in the opposite direct

    • Exactly. I don't want to drive around in some kind of living room on wheels, cosseting me with its music and controlled climate. Who invited this intrusion into my functionally defined world ?
      And whilst we're on the matter, why does my microwave insist on masquerading as a clock ? If I wish to know the time, I will turn to my trusty Timex. A timer, yes, is required. But a clock ? No.
      ....(with apologies to that mitchell and webb sound)....
  • by dbc001 (541033) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:19AM (#15627601)
    Add to this an always-on, all-sides video camera to document that it was the minivan that strayed into your lane, and it'll be even better.
    I want a camera pointing out the driver side window so I can record all the inapproproate behavior that cops exhibit. Like the Picture of Eyes [slashdot.org] from yesterday, a little red light on a camera would probably go a long way towards making cops do the right thing (and say the right thing too!).

    If you're wondering how I can be so anti-police, I recently got assaulted because some nutcase thought that I cut in line in front of him (I didn't - in fact I offered to let him go ahead of me). When the cops arrived, I explained what happened and the cop's reply was "Well, if you fuck somebody, you're gonna get fucked". American police are incredibly unprofessional, rude, racist, sexist, and of course there's the occasional beating too - the more cameras we have pointing at them (not us!) the better off we'll be.
    • Most Police in the US have mandatory cameras placed in their cars, so I'd imagine that this is already happening.

      Personally, I think they're a great idea, as it takes lots of the guesswork out of the legal process, and keeps cops in line as well.
    • I recently got assaulted because some nutcase thought that I cut in line in front of him (I didn't - in fact I offered to let him go ahead of me).

      Was that offer right after you got caught cutting in front of the guy? Certainly there were witnesses in the line who could corroborate your story.

      I'm just saying, your story, it smells... smells bad... smells real bad...

    • My story is similiar to yours except the guy tried to assault me after he cut in line and couldn't fully move his car in because I wouldn't then back away to "let him" complete his 100 degree turn.

      Cops handled it from there.

      About the only time in my experience the cops were nice, but they still took a long time, and the dispatcher was still an ass.
    • Well, if you fuck somebody, you're gonna get fucked.
  • by strider44 (650833)
    You wouldn't happen to have had a car crash lately? Just thought I might ask. Not with a minivan or something?
  • In Soviet Russia, CAR watches you. In America... car watches you too. :-/
  • add to this an always-on, all-sides video camera to document that it was the minivan that strayed into your lane, and it'll be even better.

    You'll think that until it show's that it was you that strayed into the minivan's lane.
    • I'm a big boy. I don't mind paying for my mistakes. A system that records my car would keep everyone honest. As long as it is MY recording. I don't want the recording in 'my' car to belong to someone else. Let them make their own recordings. I considered setting up a DVR in my car the last time I got pulled over. The CHP instructed me to park in a spot that was not visible from the road, wrote me a ticket for doing 82mph when I was only going 65mph, and the entire time kept trying to push buttons wit
  • These guys could definitely use such a navigation system: http://triptracker.net/trip/727/map/ [triptracker.net] They're traveling all across America in an old Volvo, using the TripTracker.net [triptracker.net] web service for geo-locating their photos. TripTracker can read GPS EXIF headers in JPEG photos so it would work perfectly with Navman.
  • by King_TJ (85913) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:36AM (#15627737) Journal
    I can see it already.... Idiots are going to be seen with one of these things backing up and turning their car a little bit, moving forward a few feet again, etc. etc. - trying to make sure they've got exactly what they want in the camera's view to snap a "perfect" photo for the location they're at.

    I agree with the other person who posted a complaint that too many devices are adding useless "fluff", trying too hard to be "unique" instead of incorporating truly useful featurea in their products. Sure, it may not be as "sexy" to sell durability or reliability, but frankly, I'd much rather pay for an appliance that'll last 5-10 more years, or a laptop computer that won't die the first time I accidently drop it on a concrete floor than for some gee-whiz, unneeded gadget merged into it.

    With all the cameras being put in cellphones, you'd think practically everyone would be able to capture a photo of anyplace they happen to go already. Does a GPS system need to do it too??
  • Could it Be? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drooling-dog (189103) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:38AM (#15627747)
    Could this finally be the gadget through which I find True Happiness?

    All of the others have been disappointments in that regard...
  • by dpbsmith (263124) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:44AM (#15627787) Homepage
    ...It's not that the camera won't have enough pixels. It's not that you need an Ansel Adams-quality photograph.

    It's that to get a nice, clear, useful, _recognizable_ thumbnail-sized picture of your destination requires a lot of intelligent thought, good framing of the picture, thirty seconds to walk around and pick a good angle, and a time of day when the light is reasonable.

    Three-quarters of the pictures people take with this thing will be

    a) unrecognizable due to reflections on the car window they're trying to shoot through, or

    b) unrecognizable because of lighting issues (dark, muddy, illegible storefront against a nice bright sky), or

    c) unrecognizable because the camera was pointed at the wrong thing, or

    d) unrecognizable because a lot of buildings look pretty much like each other, or

    e) unrecognizable because the store name is too small to read in the finished picture when displayed thumbnail size on the navigation screen, or

    f) unrecognizable because important recognition features were hidden behind a parked car, or

    g) unrecognizable because you don't have a view of the front of the building from the only place where you could stop the car, which happens to be the parking lot in back of the building, or

    h) unrecognizable because it's night-time and the camera isn't sensitive enough to make a good picture by streetlight (and the streetlighting isn't even enough even if it were, and the flash isn't bright enough to light up a building thirty feet away, and even if it were all you'd get are the flash reflections off the windows...

    • by Control Group (105494) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @09:53AM (#15627852) Homepage
      Yes, yes, and again, yes.

      It turns out that taking quality pictures - and I don't even mean "hang them in an art gallery" quality, just "easily recognizable and/or pleasant to look at" - is a non-trivial task. Trying to do it with an inferior device (mostly due to crappy lenses) only makes the job harder. Trying to do it quickly or, worse, while moving is yet another difficulty.

      Add to all the technical difficulties you've already covered the fact that most people only have the vaguest notion how to effectively frame a shot, and this gadget only gets more useless.

      (Note that when I say "useless," I don't mean "incapable of being used," I mean "making it easy for the user to perform uselessly")
      • Add to all the technical difficulties you've already covered the fact that most people only have the vaguest notion how to effectively frame a shot, and this gadget only gets more useless.

        So does that mean the pictures this device will take will be about on par with those the average person would take?
        • I expect they'll be on par with the pictures the average person will take using a cell phone from a moving car under questionable lighting conditions.

          Which is, honestly, good enough for the sort of "I was there" pictures that fill the pages of your average family's vacation album. But, I suspect, not good enough to serve the purpose they're supposed to in this context, which involves quick place recognition.
  • Coming soon: the high end model, which can take pictures of places you _haven't_ been!
  • America's Funniest Fender Benders.
  • "Add to this an always-on, all-sides video camera to document that it was the minivan that strayed into your lane, and it'll be even better."

    You could also add the always-on even when the car is parked and not running video camera to document those assholes who keep slamming my brand car with their friggin doors...I've had to have paintless dent repair twice now..
  • Does anybody know if 'geographic cooordinates' includes other data besides lat, long, and altitude (the GPS numbers)? I've been wanting for quite a while now to have the azimuth included on something like this. All the GPS devices I've used have been able to determine this [insert method here] and there's an EXIF field for it, IIRC.

    The point being, for any set of GPS coordinates you can have 360 degrees of different pictures of a point on Earth (ignoring pitch and roll).

    But... if you have the azimuth data
    • I would love to see that, myself. Would certainly help in those instances when MapQuest didn't alert me to the new construction/closed exit ramp/no U-turn intersection that gets between me and my destination, adding extra minutes/hours and infinite aggravation to my travel time...not to mention the additional $3/gallon gas needed for the detour.
  • It'll be perfect for my Memento-like life style.

    /me looks at picture with caption "A drive thru you visited on 06.27.2006. Don't trust the person behind the counter".
  • I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that.
  • by ChePibe (882378) on Thursday June 29, 2006 @10:43AM (#15628233)
    Add to this an always-on, all-sides video camera to document that it was the minivan that strayed into your lane, and it'll be even better.

    My brother wanted something like that after getting hit 4 times in a one month period, though he was luckily not to blame for any of the accidents and neither he nor his car sustained serious damage and everyone who hit him could walk away as well. His implementation, however, was a bit different.

    Figuring his huge mid-90's reflective gold-colored Lincoln (like I said, 4 hits in one month, little damage) was somehow difficult for motorists to see (we always figured it had lawyer-installed magnets in it), he planned to replace it with a safety vest-orange Hummer with a boat horn, construction truck/tow truck flashing lights, a rifle rack in the back with an old drill rifle (just for fun), and a video system similar to this one.

    As we had this conversation, we drove past a wrecker - possibly the closest vehicle in appearance to the one we had devised - that had been rear-ended by some idiot who was likely on his cell phone and didn't appear to have moved it from his ear since the accident.

    No vehicle is safe these days from those with a room temperature IQ and a cell phone... at least with a Lincoln, you can be sure that whoever hits you will be off the road for quite a while while their car sits in the shop... ;-)
  • Every once in a while I look up the current state of the art and try to figure out how to cost-effectively put a "black box" into my car, not just grabbing video, but hooking into the car's computer to grab things like speed and other details. I'm not sure how useful it would be in court, but the video at least would make some entertaining watching. Submitting a few clips of some of the asshole law-breaking drivers I come across every day to the local law enforcement might feel good too.
  • In Soviet Russia...

    car photographs YOU!
  • ... but I don't think I need pictures of the backs of ^%$#ing SUVs, since that's all I get to see when I'm driving anyway.
  • I absolutely hate this fad of putting cameras on everything.
    It increases battery consumption, price, size and weight of any item they're added to. Also if you happen to work in a secure area, you can't take it to work.
    Its almost impossible to find a nice cell phone without a camera now.
  • Add to this an always-on, all-sides video camera to document that it was the minivan that strayed into your lane, and it'll be even better.

    Feh. Insurance companies don't consider things like "evidence." Example: my friend was sideswiped by an SUV who tried to drive around his car on the left side (in the shoulder) on an offramp. He tore a huge gash down the side of my friend's car. Later, the driver claimed that it was my friend who was trying to drive around HIM, and that HE was the one who was sideswi

    • That's true, the insurance companies don't consider evidence. However, the courts will, and *that* is what you want the pictures for.

      About 10 years ago, I was in an accident in my parent's neighborhood. The situation was such that I was going downhill and it had just rained a little bit. There was a landscaping truck parked on the opposite side of the road (really not a great place), and this lady was following her friend out of the neighborhood. Her friend passed the truck well before I got there, but
  • 99 years ago, Andrew McNally II had the same kind of idea.

    Excerpt:

    ... in 1907, Andrew McNally II, the grandson of the co-founder of Rand McNally & Company, chose to spend his honeymoon in Milwaukee ... Andrew McNally II had a sense that the automobile might enhance the way-finding side of the business, and so, on this honeymoon trip, he strapped a camera onto the front fender of his car and, at every junction--every right or left turn--stopped and snapped a photograph. He and his bride did the same

  • Buyers of this item should also consider purchasing the Kenwood TT756SL 2 slice toaster and radio. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000AANXG8/ref=no sim/002-8287001-2609612?n=284507 [amazon.com]
  • I suppose an integrated camera could be useful in some situations.. Adding the GPS coordinates into the picture data would be cool. But, I think I would rather have GPS integrated into my current camera than pictures in my navigation system.

    Some more useful integrations would be:

    - Digital terrestrial radio: The conversion process is just starting, and almost noone has a digital radio. Adding it into the GPS should be easy, and with the storage capacity in the GPS you could record or timeshift radio.
    - S
  • Once upon-a-time people put clocks in everything. Nothing that *needed* a clock in it, but we put them in anyway. Now we put cameras in things, whether they need it or not. Big big deal. We'll grow out of it.
  • This would be great for buses. Instead of having traffic cops giving people tickets for driving/parking in bus lanes the bus driver could just snap pictures of the offending vehicles. When the driver got back to the base the photos could be uploaded and instant fines sent off to the offenders.

Computers are useless. They can only give you answers. -- Pablo Picasso

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