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This location-sharing app could save your life

Navigation apps come with every smartphone, but using them can be a pain if you don’t have an exact address or know exactly where you’re going. It’s even worse if you’re in a new place and want someone to meet you.

How can you point them in your direction if you don’t know where you are? It’s not as if you could say some magic words and make them appear in front of you. Well, maybe you can.

That’s actually the idea behind an innovative startup called what3words. It’s an app designed to make location-sharing more user friendly by breaking down coordinates into keywords. To help someone find you, all you need to do is push a button in the free what3words app to get the keywords for your location.

Sharing your location has never been easier

Once you send them your keywords, all they need to do is plug it into the app to find out exactly where you are. The company has mapped the world into 3-meter by 3-meter parcels and assigned keywords to each one. This allows for infinite combinations and more accurate mapping.

Auto industry leaders see major potential in what3words for car navigation. Mapping conglomerate HERE, owned by BMW, Daimler and Audi, announced a partnership that will put what3words into satellite navigation systems on cars from all three brands.

Once the system is built into car satnavs, all you’ll need to do is say the keywords to get instant directions to wherever you want to go. Odds are the voice recognition system will understand the spoken keywords better than a street address. As anyone who uses a satnav in their car can tell you, they’re not the easiest systems to program.

What3words also integrates with other messaging and navigation apps so you can easily share coordinates or convert your current location or destination into keywords.

If enough users get on board, it’ll be much easier for businesses in remote areas to attract customers. Emergency services will have a better time getting to people in need. All this thanks to three simple keywords.

The what3words app is available as a free download for both iOS and Android devices.

Try this app out. It’s great stuff!

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