Do Standalone GPS Devices Need an App Store?

If phones, printers, and pens can have app stores, why not a stand alone GPS? That’s what TomTom thinks too in its effort to compete with increasingly turn-by-turn navigation strength coming from smartphones.

EXCLUSIVE: TomTom looks to apps to fight off Google and Nokia

But, if we accept that most stand alone GPS devices from manufacturers like TomTom, Garmin and Magellen are very good at what they do (and they are in my opinion), what kind of “apps” are actually needed for GPSes?

The one thing that comes to mind is, perhaps, the kind of augmented reality features found in apps like Layar. However, do we really want drivers looking at their GPS screen instead of the road ahead and vehicles around them?

The real next-generation innovation in GPS devices is going to have to come literally “out of the box” in the form, perpha,s of windshield heads-up displays, driving assistance (including collision avoidance), and better situational awareness and intelligence guidance.