Dash's Hopes Get... Well, Dashed

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Dash, the web enabled GPS unit is slashing 50 jobs and exiting the hardware business, according to GigaOM.

The futuristic unit pulled data from the ‘net and mashed it it up with turn-by-turn directions – a pretty slick idea, all things considered. In real estate they had deals going with content partners Coldwell Banker (see Dash GPS Get Real Estate Search) and Trulia (see Trulia Goes Mobile, Adds Feeds).

Mobile real estate search and location-based navigation technologies seem to me to be the perfect marriage. Personally, I’d love to be able to have the ability to output the results of a property search and then have the whole viewing tour guided via GPS.

I think the real problem in this case was not the concept, but the execution. Standalone units like the Dash are quickly being outpaced by smart devices like the iPhone and Blackberry Bold, which already incorporate GPS and do not require additional fees (beyond their monthly data plans).

And while applications on each of those platforms are not quite there yet to do a multi-stop property tour, they’re close (see iPhone real estate app showdown).

Dash seems to have recognized this, and by retooling their business for B2B, we may still see their technology show up in onboard navigation systems and other devices someday.

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