Feeds

Blue Dasher seeks customers for street-level photographs

Technology looking for application?

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

CTIA '08 On Tuesday Blue Dasher announced it had accumulated complete street-level photography of every road in San Francisco, South Florida and Las Vegas. Today we sat down with the company in CTIA, who told us why.

The technology that Miami-based Blue Dasher uses is impressive enough: its cars, complete with little periscope sticking out of the sun roof, drive around at the speed of the surrounding traffic while five cameras take four pictures a second. The resulting images, including one pointing upwards, are stitched together into navigable spheres that show everything around the vehicle.

But does the world need more street-level pictures to accompany mapping applications? "Absolutely!" Blue Dasher founder Michael Reidbord told us. "Look around at all the companies selling navigation systems. They all want to be able to show people the intersection they're approaching, and we can provide that".

We're not convinced that being able to see a photograph of the approaching junction will make it easier to navigate: it could give the driver confidence they're in the right place, but it could equally well distract them depending on what was happening when the Blue Dasher car passed by.

"Real estate companies are desperate for this," Reidbord assured us, so they can virtually explore areas, showing potential buyers what their route to work might look like, or just the nearest shops.

That makes some sense, but it seems like using a technological sledgehammer to crack a nut. More interesting is the potential application in law enforcement:

"The dispatcher can see the area an officer is exploring, tell them to check out a building or suggest where someone might be hiding … especially at night."

The idea of a dispatcher using a virtual map to guide a local agent is very science fiction: fans of the film Max Headroom will recall how effective such an arrangement can be. Blue Dasher reckons its images are of sufficient density to be used in such a way.

The company wants to see the technology fitted into police cars too, for recording of incidents in every direction, though its accept that the open-sunroof-sticking-up-periscope approach may need to be modified.

We're still not convinced the world needs omni-directional images of every city street. But no doubt there are applications still to be discovered. Covering an entire city requires a considerable, and sustained, investment, and we've yet to see an application will generate enough revenue to pay for this.®

Bootnote

For all the news on the CTIA Wireless trade show see our CTIA roundup.

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Same old iPad? NO. The new 'soft SIMs' are BIG NEWS
AppleSIM 'ware to allow quick switch of carriers
Brits: Google, can you scrape 60k pages from web, pleeease
Hey, c'mon Choc Factory, it's our 'right to be forgotten'
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.