What’s New Today: Dash, et cetera

Dash Navigation, an auto navigation device maker, comes out of stealth Monday. The company had previously been called Circumnav Networks and had admitted it was building “a social network of traffic data” at one time, though a lot has happened since the project began three years ago. Dash is to unveil its device and service at the September DEMO conference. The company is keeping details hush-hush till then, but it is letting us say that the product will involve real-time two-way communication to deliver traffic flow updates, routing advice, and local destination information.

Dash is well funded and well pedigreed, with $17 million from Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Sequoia Capital, and Skymoon Ventures, and a team from the automotive, navigation, wireless, networking, and consumer electronics industries. The company is supposed to launch in California at the beginning of next year. Less than 7 percent of U.S. cars have GPS navigation, according to CJ Driscoll & Associates, but the market is growing by leaps and bounds.

“I don’t think we will have any trouble selling the first 10,000 to the engineers at Google and Yahoo,” joked Dash CEO Paul Lego last week. We will tell you more about the product after we go for a test drive next month.

More product launches and company announcements (written by Om):

  • Zumaa.com: Photo sharing, classifieds, social features wrapped in an AJAX interface. Yup, another one of those.
  • Interaction Chat, from Auriance, is a free AJAX-based chat application for blog owners.
  • Blipstar, a quick way to add store locater to an commerce website using Google Maps. It’s a utility, not a company.