Need a lift? Grab an iPhone. While there have been a number of apps that catalog numbers for cab companies in various areas, the new app Taxi Magic connects directly to the routing systems in a number of metro areas to order up cabs without needing a call. After setting up a cab, the program can then indicate the driver’s name, and how long until the cab arrives.
As cool as this app is for frequent taxi users, it becomes way cooler when viewed in regards to infrastructure. Here is a mobile app that is integrating with specialized, embedded systems. In many ways, the ease of development and novelty of the iPhone platform are spawning new and creative approaches to mobile. In Europe it’s already become commonplace to pay for parking via mobile. How long until we see centralized parking systems doing the same here in the US? And assuming there is a centralized management of parking, how long until an app can update me on the nearest available parking spot? (This example also has a clear application in the telematics space for GPS units).
Specialized, embedded systems run a lot of the basic functionality in people’s everyday lives. They’ve also typically been siloed off. But I hope the trend of looping mobile in as an extension continues. It is high time that the mobile phone be able to perform inventory checks on an item before visiting the store, schedule service appointments, and make restaurant reservations without making a call.