We recently got to take a Dash Express beta unit for a spin, and while they're still gluing all the software together behind the scenes in anticipation of launch, we did spot the makings of a few obvious and ridiculously useful features new users can expect in February. Besides the stuff we've already heard about (like sending addresses and geo-RSS feeds via WiFi and cellular, or local Zillow property values), the Dash Express has some other tricks up its sleeve, like:
- The ability to display current local gas prices in its gas station search!
- Local theaters show movies and showtimes (although you can't order tickets through the Dash Express -- yet).
- Yahoo Local searches show aggregate user ratings.
- Over the air updates via cellular data. (We're not yet sure what happens if you opt out of service -- we'd guess you'll just have to use the old USB cable or WiFi.)
- And, of course, there's the traffic data, which not only shows which local roads with traffic data from real time and historic Dash GPS users but also uses Inrix traffic feeds.
- And just so you know whether the system is or isn't too sure about its traffic predictions, the Dash Express also gauges its "confidence" with dashed and solid lines -- see above. (Of course, it also plots routes predicted by ETA and traffic flow, and not necessarily just by distance.)
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Dash Express beta hands-on