A new version of INRIX, a road traffic avoidance app, has made its way to the app store and brings new features: first of all, the app now shows “traffic news”, which are details about what’s going on along your path to a destination. The idea is to provide important details like the nature of the congestion (accident, road work…), which would allow you to choose to either stick with the current route, or take an alternate one.
INRIX can also displays images from traffic cameras which provide a view that is (or seems) a little more “real-time” than that color-coded route information. Although INRIX says that it is very fast to refresh the traffic data (1mn), there’s nothing like seeing things with your own eyes. Traffic cameras were previously available in the paid version ($9.99), but are now integrated to the free INRIX app.
INRIX was initially built to optimize commute routes (home<->work) but a search function has now been added, so you can effectively use it to check the traffic to any place.
Most people could use the default mapping application of their smartphones, but INRIX removes some friction out of tracking your commute route, and I suspect that this is its main advantage (convenience). Secondly, I really like the idea of looking at the traffic camera images.
When I talked to INRIX’s VP of Mobile, he mentioned the idea of having such an app running on wearable devices like Google Glass. That could be very cool, and I wonder when we will see something like this on that platform.
Chances are that you have not used Google Glass yet, so you have to understand that Glass is not a “heads-up display” that super-imposes images on top of what you see (AR-style). You have to look to the side to see the Glass display with any kind of clarity. It’s not unlike looking at your rear-view mirror. The last question is whether or not authorities will allow people to use such devices while driving. What do you think?