Google Open Spot alerts users to freed parking spaces
Yes, this has certainly been tried before, but given that things like this need a critical mass of followers to be effective, I’m particularly interested about Google‘s own initiative. Dubbed ‘Open Spot,’ this brilliant Android (2.0 and up) application enables motorists to search for unclaimed spaces that have been reported by other Open Spot users, and once they head elsewhere, it allows them to mark their spot as open and available. Once a spot is marked, the color gradually fades from red to yellow the longer it remains unclaimed. While it seems snappy enough (and yes, you receive a Karma Point for every space we dropped….a good deed done!!), the obvious omission is the ability to add notes to each marked place. There really should be a way to denote whether a spot is metered, covered by some wacky city permit law or submerged in a foot of water — here’s hoping the next update will enable comments.
Utilities like these will be a boon to consumers and again proves a point for the ever growing importance of mobile devices as we rush into the future. Many look forward to a future of networked vehicles, but with mobile phones this is possible today. Spotswitch, Roadify and Spotscout are all examples of social parking in action. Watch out for more such trends…ciao.