Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/07/31/mercedes_designing_google_glass_map_app/

Google Glassholes can't take long walks off short piers thanks to Merc app

Flash motor giant's new in-vision satnav mingles driving and dawdling

By Jasper Hamill

Posted in Cloud, 31st July 2013 10:38 GMT

Google Glass wearers will have to get used to privacy-conscious people telling them to get lost - but a new map app from Mercedes for the techno-goggles may make that impossible.

The German maker of flash motors is working on software for Google's controversial camera-fitted wearable computer, a gadget that beams information into the user's vision: the app will not only allow users to get directions while driving, but also while walking.

Johann Jungwirth, president and CEO at Mercedes-Benz Research & Development North America, said his firm was aiming to create a "seamless" experience, for want of a better word, of pootling about on wheels and foot. The software will use the GPS hardware in Glass.

Mercedes told the Silicon Valley Business Journal about its vision of a world in which no one need ask for directions again: the system will guide Glassholes to their destination by car. Then, when they step out, it will guide them right to where they need to go - muggings notwithstanding. It will automatically recognise whether the wearer is sitting in a car or not, changing the directions accordingly.

However, Mercedes engineers also predict a long gestation time on their new technology, simply because so few people own the dystopic wearable computer, which threatens to usher in an era in which privacy is just a distant memory.

Tech companies are zeroing in on cars as one of the great unexploited markets.

Mercedes has already worked with Apple to allow Siri to control some dashboard functions, allowing rich fanbois to ask Apple for directions or even send a tweet, which is a handy way of letting your chums know what you're you up to in the last moments before a crash.

Apple has also been chasing the motor market, with several patents pointing to a future in which every automobile has its own fondleslab control system and no one need ever lose their ride in a car park. ®