Car gives a Glympse of where you areComment on this story
We're not sure whether to file this under 'A' for amazing or 'B' for 'Big Brother', but here goes anyway.
Built into the satnav of the sexy new A-Class, due for release in Europe later this year and next April in South Africa, will be a location-sharing service called Glympse.
Glympse was originally developed for smartphones; all the user does is to decide which of their friends or family need to know exactly where they are and set a timer - after which the app will automatically switch off, so you can't embarrass yourself by inadvertently leaving it on when you want to go under the radar.
YOU’RE ON THE MAP
But while it's on, the people on your access list will be able to see where you are and in which direction you're headed, on an interactive map (a free download) on their smartphone, or on the Glympse website, either on a tablet or a PC.
Glympse says it's intended to be used so that people can guide the user to a destination they're not sure of; we think it's open to abuse.
Nevertheless, according to Daimler and Glympse in their joint-venture announcement, this is the first time it has been built directly into a car as part of the infotainment system, marking a new step in the integration of the car with its environment.
“TAKE ME TO TOM”
Take this concept to its logical conclusion, and one day it will be possible to tell your car: “Take me to Tom”, and it will find Tom's smartphone, ask its permission to crash the party, and take you there without any intervention on your (or Tom's) part.
And even when you arrive, you won't know how you got there!
But that's pie in the sky; right now, the new A-Class will tell anybody you think should know about it, where you are.
Twitter With GPS, or Big Brother? You decide. In any case, you don't have to switch it on, but you will, you know you will.