Microsoft's Next Big Innovation

by Idris Mootee

Microsoft's Next Big InnovationGoogle Maps Meets Grand Theft Auto

What’s new with GPS? There were the 3D maps, then traffic information with live refresh every two minutes so to help others to avoid heavy traffic jams and GPS watch? What’s next?

Surprise the next big innovation will come from Microsoft. It is Grand Theft Auto meets Google Map. The company just granted a patent that is designed to make its maps more pedestrian-friendly meaning not only just when you’re driving, even walking. I think this is a truly innovative idea. This feature is designed to help you to avoid certain dangerous area. You know two blocks can make big differences in many cities.

This feature will be killer applications in future Windows phones. So while you’re roaming the streets of LA or Chicago, your smart phones will send GPS into to a system that maps the crime statistics as well as nature of crime, day of time happened and frequency. Not sure how this will impact real estate prices or retail rent.

Microsoft's Next Big Innovation

They also may allow you to do a trial run in the neighborhood as downloadable scenes in Grand Theft Auto on your X-Box? I am sure there is a disclaimant that you need to click ‘accept’ meaning if you do get mugged in what was identified as a safe area would not be their fault.

It is definitely a useful feature for parents to make sure the kids are not allowed hanging out in those areas and it will prompt them and send a message to the parents? If you use a little more imagination, there is so much untapped innovation with LBS and GPS.

GPS is not legal everywhere. Apple will be selling its iPhone in Egypt, people there will have to go without one of the star features: GPS navigation. Yes, because GPS is illegal in Egypt (Can you believe this?) and I think it is the only country in the world but I might be wrong. Apple is forced to take out the feature because there is a ban on the import of all GPS-enabled devices into Egypt. The ban has been in effect for years.

The Egyptian govertment considers GPS a military-grade technology that can be used to help pinpoint the location of government facilities. But if you so happen to be travelling in the desert, you’re advised to buy one, but only from the black market which you need a GPS to locate.

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Idris MooteeIdris Mootee is the CEO of Idea Couture, a strategic innovation and experience design firm. He is the author of four books, many published articles, and a frequent speaker at business conferences and executive retreats.

No comments

  1. Idris, I think this is a truly terrible idea I’m afraid – if people start avoiding certain areas, shops and businesses in those areas will suffer, they will close or move, the area will slide further into deprivation and the socially excluded will be further excluded…
    it only takes a small nudge to accumulate a big social effect over time.

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