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RIM Buys Dash Navigation

Waterloo, Ontario — BlackBerry maker Research in Motion (RIM) confirmed it recently acquired Dash Navigation, although RIM did not provide details on the purchase.

Dash Navigation’s core technology converts an Internet-connected personal navigation device (PND) into a roaming two-way traffic probe. The company sold such a PND last year that tracked its users’ road speed and location to create traffic reports that were broadcast to other Dash PND users. The device failed to win a broad retail distribution and was pulled from the market after only eight months. Dash said, at the time, it would focus on licensing its technology to other companies.

RIM is not stating whether it plans to allow its BlackBerry devices to become traffic probes to create a traffic service.

Dash Navigation did not immediately respond to a TWICE inquiry.

Traffic probe technology has begun to resurface in recent months. Israeli start-up Waze announced recently it plans to release a smartphone app for iPhone, Android and Windows Mobile phones to convert them to traffic probes. The company just launched a test trial in San Francisco and expects to go nationwide as early as this month and plans to release an iPhone App also as early as later this month.

Separately, the former marketing senior VP of Dash Navigation, Robert Acker, recently resurfaced as president and CEO of Aha Mobile, a Palo Alto, Calif.-based start-up that announced it will release this summer an iPhone app that creates a safer driving experience by delivering “just the relevant pieces of information” drivers need.

The company did not explain its technology further, but announced it secured $3 million in Series A financing from Venrock, a venture capital firm.