Mapcard (usb device with screen)

Here’s the problem: anytime Rebekah and I are going to someone’s house that we’ve never been to before we remember at the last minute that we need to print off directions. At that point it’s usually 20 minutes after the time we were supposed to arrive so the tensions are running high. I’ve tried jotting down the directions on a piece of paper, but that inevitably results in us getting lost, having no idea how long to stay on a road and no map to reference. Most of the time I end up printing all 3-4 pages and afterwards we throw them away. Being cheap and hating to buy ink cartridges and paper, I feel like this is a waste.

One thing I’ve been thinking about (and this may or may not already exist) is a usb drive/keychain device with a screen. I imagine it would be about the size of 5 credit cards stacked together. You could use this device for all of the normal things like file storage/transfer, but also to print directions to. So a service like google maps would have another button next to print directions that said “send to mapcard” or whatever it was called. You plug the mapcard in, hit the button and there you have your directions. The bonus being that you can store them in an address book.

This initial idea got me thinking, why not just have the same device with the google maps application installed directly on it? Anytime you plugged it in it could automatically update itself and that way you could use the device independently, searching for directions while driving. The difference between this and a gps system like the new fancy pants cars have is that it doesn’t say crap like “turn left in .1 mile…now head straight towards…” I don’t think that’s necessary at all. I guess this 5 credit card sized device would probably need to be bigger if it included some sort of keyboard. Maybe just like a cell phone (which I imagine already has some application like this, so in that case I think I should stick with the original more simple idea).


  1. get a PDA to download your directions

    - Stister Carrie (Jan 10, 2006)

  2. damn you and your “simple solution.”

    but seriously, I’m talking a $10 to $20 device, just the basics. Think iPod and it’s simple user-interface and then take away all of the buttons, and then maybe put back a couple and then subtract $280 and the video/song/game-playing capabilities.

    are you with me?

    - rett (Jan 10, 2006)

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