Research In Motion has confirmed that the company recently acquired Dash Navigation for an undisclosed sum. Gee, what would a smartphone company want with a company that makes GPS-based navigation units?Quick history lesson. Dash Navigation made the Dash Express, a very neat little GPS unit. In November 2008, it ceased producing hardware and decided that the licensing model was the way to go.
At the time, it said, "The company is shifting its focus from delivering connected navigation devices directly to consumers to licensing its application and service to run on platforms such as onboard navigation systems, smartphones, PDAs, mobile internet devices, and other consumer electronics."
Since, then things have been pretty quiet on the Dash front. In fact, the press release quoted above was the last the company issued.
You may remember, Nokia acquired mapmaker Navteq in 2008, which it has used to bolster its location-based services and offerings. Perhaps RIM plans to do the same with Dash. To-date, RIM devices haven't had home-grown navigation software. Instead, they defer to their wireless network operator partners and third parties such as Google to provide mapping software.
RIM has not said what it plans to do with Dash, nor how much it acquired the company for, or any other details for that matter. All we know is that Dash belongs to RIM.