By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Dash Navigation, the marketers of the first two-way Internet-connected personal navigation device (PND), won't make PNDs anymore but will license its technology to other companies, including automakers and smartphone supplers, the company announced.
Dash sold a Dash Express traffic-gathering and traffic-reporting PND through Amazon.com and Crutchfield.com as well as on its own Dash Web site but never sold through traditional retailers since the device's March launch. Dash said it will continue to operate the traffic-gathering and –reporting service and will support the products in the field with software updates.
The Dash Express personal navigation device tracked its users' road speeds, then transmitted the information to other Dash users to create traffic reports. It was also the first to offer a live Yahoo! Local search for points of interest
The company was at a juncture where it had to decide to ramp up for a full-scale retail introduction or to go the path of licensing its technology, said Rob Currie, who was president/COO and who has replaced Paul Lego as CEO.
"In the last couple of months," said Currie, "we started to get really strong interest from licensing partnerships, and there's a growing set of platforms we could turn on. With the state of the economy … to launch a product in retail would be an expensive proposition, and it was time to make a shift and focus on what differentiates us — the Dash driver network, the service, and the user experience."
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