Telematics is defined as the convergence of telecommunications and informatics. In other words, it is primarily concerned with the transport of information through electronical telecommunications devices such as mobile phones. Vehicle telematics uses GPS navigation, mobile technology, and the Internet to send and receive information important to drivers inside their vehicles.
The below video illustrates the use of a vehicle telematics program called Glympse. Notice three things about how the technology is being used:
- It is voice activated to make it safer for the driver to use
- The driver is able to send her present location to a friend on his smartphone
- The computer is able to process the information given to it in real time and with near precision
So how can this technology be used for marketing purposes?
Vehicle telematics is still in its infancy. It will get a lot more sophisticated before it’s over with and done. But I envision vehicles having an e-mail-like communication tool that operates on voice commands and which will deliver your mail to you in voice. Much like SMS messages, you’ll be able to receive incoming mail from your favorite retail shops and merchants.
Location tracking will also be important for marketers when in-dash apps much like apps for smartphones and tablets start to become popular. When a certain app user drives by your shop and you have a special going that day, you’ll be able to automatically notify that driver of the special deal, and you may even be able to customize that deal to the specific interests of the driver.
This is just a tip of the iceberg on what is possible. We are still a few years away from that vision, but I can see it coming.