Location-aware, open-source, Blobject cars in Cordoba
August 30th, 2005

BBC reports on Bruce-Sterling-inspired “Blobject” rental cars in Cordoba, Spain — for tourists.

(Thanks, Library Bob!)

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Each Blobject car comes with a touch-screen computer system mounted in the dash. Through a USB port, you can plug in a flash drive containing information on Cordoba in Spanish, English or French.

By using GPS technology, the computer keeps track of exactly where you are in the city.

When you pass a certain landmark, the computer then knows to display the appropriate text, audio and video information about that landmark on the screen.

The computer system is based on open source software developed by a company in Seville, Spain. As with any open source software, anyone can improve and change Blobject’s code, as long as those improvements and changes are shared with others.

Mr Romeo insisted on using open source. Not only was it cheaper, he says, but it also allowed him to better customise his product.

“With proprietary software, innovation comes from the people in marketing,” he says.

“But with open source, innovation comes from the guy who is really in the market. It comes from someone who knows the city.”

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