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"New patent shows a TomTom GPS with integrated camera system
In-car GPS systems are great, but have you ever been driving along and
have it tell you to turn, only to find out that you’re really not sure
where it wanted you to turn? A new patent has surfaced depicting a
navigation system that will use a camera to show you the road as it sees
it, and show you exactly where you need to turn.
The patent was filed by TomTom in December and looks to revolutionize
the way we look at GPS systems. Currently, when we look at a GPS unit we
see a 3D map with lines showing us where the roads are, or at least
should be. The proposed device from TomTom would actually show you the
road as seen from its built-in camera, and use a smart image recognition
system to show your course on the road. The GPS would actually be able
to recognize streets, intersections and turns, and show the course
on-screen as it applies to the road ahead.
We’re not sure how soon we’ll see this technology show up in upcoming
devices. TomTom has shown no hint of developing a device based on this
patent just yet. I can definitely see how a device like this would be a
big hit with consumers."
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"TomTom patents camera-based GPS system
TomTom hopes to soon overlay GPS navigation on a real-world scene,
according to a new European patent. The system described would relay a
camera feed from the front of a car to a GPS unit's screen; a smart
image recognition system would then recognize the roads and
intersections ahead, superimposing directions on top of the video to
help the driver turn based on recognizable landmarks rather than simple
maps or abstracted 3D images. Onscreen data would still exist to keep
tabs on the distance to the nearest turn, the road ahead, and the
Filed in December by TomTom's Dutch headquarters, the patent doesn't yet
apply to any known recent or upcoming GPS from the company and provides
no immediate clues as to when it may appear in a shipping product. The
relatively simple design of the system, however, makes it a realistic
option for future TomTom GO devices in the next few years at the latest.
[via GPSBusinessNews, free registration required]"