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GPS pioneer takes aim at the future of navigation

After you help invent GPS, what do you do for an encore? If you're TeleNav's Bob Rennard, you make it eerily smart.

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The pace of modern consumer technology has been so swift in recent decades that you can still meet the people who helped change the world, and find that they're still at it and working on what's next. Bob Rennard is an example.

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He was one of the developers of the GPS technology we rely on today, and is a co-founder of TeleNav, a provider of GPS-related software and services. The company called me and offered to have Rennard explain its Scout platform. I'm normally reticent to come do a story on a product pitch, but the key here is that Scout is an example of a true sea change in GPS: connecting it to live Internet search and data. That's shaping up to be the second coming of GPS and one that I've been calling for for years, especially in cars.

ZDNet's Joel Evans has a piece on how he uses Scout as a replacement for sorely missed Google Maps on his new iPhone. TeleNav isn't the only player going down this road, but it is an influential one that can move the ball forward to the day when GPS navigation is actually no longer seen as a standalone function, but simply as part of the connective tissue of search, social, recommendations, and more.