In my travels to Israel, where I've just returned from, I get to see a sneak peek at some of the coolest and most innovative technologies than can enhance the AT&T three-screens experience.
During my trip, I saw some new and innovative IPTV, InternetTV, home networking, broadband wireless and social media technologies which should be coming to market by 2008.
Many of these companies I can't write or talk about because I am either under non-disclosure with them, or they are still not ready for prime time to be writing about.
One company that I can publicly talk about, that really caught my eye (mostly because I got to play with the product) was 3DVU (pronounced 3-D View).
I had a chance to meet with Isaac Levanon, the company's founder, who after spending 17 years in the PC industry in the U.S., has been back in Israel for the past 10 years and founded the company.
As a former helicopter pilot in the Israeli Air Force, Isaac realized that navigation was not intuitive for mass-market application. He realized that the combination of wireless technology and the evolving market for smart handheld devices could lead to a market opportunity for true mobile navigation. And like so many of the Israeli companies I get to work with, their companies are founded based on their expertise and experiences from serving in what I think is the best Army / Navy / Air Force mashup on the planet.
Isaac founded FlyOver Technology (later changed name to 3DVU) at the same time that Keyhole was started. Keyhole as later acquired by Google to create Google Earth. Both were set to create 3D visualization of the world. But the big difference is that 3DVU was focused on mobile user that is on the road with a device that is far less powerful than a desktop PC.
As mobile navigation was first created and adopted in the Far East, 3DVU technology was implemented in Car Navigation Systems in Japan in 2002.
3DVU is about to launch a cool and exciting solution direct to consumer called Navi2Go.
I had a chance to play with Navi2Go.
Even as Alpha, it’s already packed with innovation that will give your trip planning and navigation a new experience.
Like other mapping solutions, (Mapquest, Google, Yahoo, Ask, etc.) they offer the same functionality, but the difference is the presentation.
3DVU has developed Visual Map™, a proprietary streaming technology that enriches the user experience with real, bird’s eye views of the world. The technology simulates 3D perspectives and realistic maneuvers over aerial and satellite imagery.
The most important and unique features are Navi2Go ability to copy the planned route and moving it to your PDA for true 3D image navigating on the road, with real-time GPS tracking and both text and voice guidance.
You may also have a printout that includes the pictures of the route maneuvers in 3D.
Shortly, these images could be saved on to your iPod or other players, or sent to your cellphone as an SMS link. The Navi2Go site indicates that both online solution for SmartPhones and offboard solution to enhance PND (like Garmin, TomTom, Mio, etc.) are coming.
Most of all, I look forward when I may be able to apply this innovative technology on my BlackBerry.