INRIX Google Glass App – A Valuable Sidekick Or Just Another Traffic Distraction?

We’re approaching fast towards the moment when the INRIX Traffic application for Google Glass will be launched. So, we have to ask ourselves: is this a genuinely good idea or just another distraction for car owners?

During the past few days, I have seen all kind of usage methods for the Google Glass, and while some of them seem to be completely uncomfortable and distracting, there are others, which might actually work. For instance, what would you think about the NBA officials wearing the device during  games? Doesn’t sound so good, does it?! But the more you think about this, it begins to make sense.

The application I’m talking about, INRIX Traffic will be compatible with Android, iOS, Windows Phone and maybe with some older versions of the Blackberry OS. The app is said to give drivers route and traffic updates, information regarding accidents on the way and other navigation related data. Latest news claim that the app will receive new software soon and that a new Google Glass App will be launched two weeks from now.

The software used by INRIX is expected to help solve some aspects of the traffic congestion problem, which is more and more annoying. On the other hand, it could be quite dangerous to interact with your smartphone while driving. This is where the Google Glass comes in hand: it saves time and you have less stress because you can keep your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel as it guides you through the traffic.

So far, Audi, Ford and BMW have relied on INRIX for information and car services, but now every user will be able to use it since the software is going to be released in a mobile app version, the INRIX Traffic 5.0 which is also going to be the first app designed for the Google Glass able to offer users ETAs, best route and exclusive insights.

Google’s Glass is powered by Android OS and even though the traffic app will be pretty similar to its smartphone variant, the variant for the Glass will include some unique functionalities such as push notifications when approaching congestion or accident areas, takes instant shots of the accident in order to make reports, while the ETA sends alerts to friends and family if anything happens via Google Talk or mail and you can also see how much time you have saved using the INRIX Traffic app.

I find the Google Glass to be a very interesting product and this is why I wrote about it since last year when it first appeared in the rumor mill. And ever since, I keep on stumbling on new information pieces on the product every single week. But until Google makes an official statement regarding the Glass, such as its availability and official launch date, all of the above are just suppositions and more dust in the wind. Regardless to this, I still can’t tell if the Google Glass will become popular or a mainstream product and this is why I believe that the entire market is jumping from one conclusion to another in its attempt to discover more and more ways for using the Glass.

With these being said, I will definitely keep a keen eye on the evolution of the Glass and I’m sure that a lot of you will too. I must say that when I first read about the INRIX Traffic app being released for the Glass, the first thought that came to my mind was that this is madness considering the amount of distractions drivers already have on their hands nowadays.

Truth of the matter is that even though using the cellphone when driving is not completely restricted, there are some states and regions, which have released dispositions to regulate it. As for using apps like Google Maps, TeleNav Scout, INRIX Traffic or other navigation apps, there are no laws or rules to be applied, even if I don’t consider this activity to be more different than texting or checking in on Facebook. However, the Glass comes with its own advantage: it can be operated by voice which makes it safer to use than the classic touch-to-interact navigation apps. There is a slighter distraction considering that it will be worn exactly like a pair of glasses, but you would still have to move your eyes from the road at some point. Oh have I mentioned that Glass will probably be completely banned  while driving in the UK?