This week, I thought I’d switch gears and tell you about an honest-to-goodness app that could be quite helpful for summertime road trips.
It’s called Road Ninja, and we downloaded it while driving from Florida to Texas because we liked the cool logo when we saw it on a billboard. That’s the kind of cutting-edge research we at the Speed Family do for the sake of Tech Talk.
If you’ve ever been stuck in a vehicle with antsy children in need of a clean restroom and an air-conditioned playground, well, Road Ninja is for you. It uses your GPS location to tell you what you can expect at the next few exits and how long you’ll have to wait before the bliss that is Waffle House.
Road Ninja is wise but not omniscient. We tried searching for “Raising Cain’s” in Louisiana and were directed to the location in Athens, Georgia, which is my hometown but not necessarily the most convenient franchise. But the next few times we tried it, the app gave us an accurate prediction of what restaurants we could anticipate at the next exit.
Even better, you can use Road Ninja to find upcoming special offers from various restaurants. It will notify you once you’re near the location of the promotion you’ve selected, and then you can show your phone to receive the discount. We didn’t try this feature ourselves so I can’t vouch for how well it works in real life, but it is a nifty way to save a few bucks when you’re on the road.
And, of course, you don’t have to be on the highway to benefit from the promotional offers via the app. Sadly, from the comfort of my couch, I can see that there are no current promotions in my area, but I am seeing several restaurants I didn’t even know about – so the app isn’t just for major chains.
Road Ninja isn’t going to help you discover the fabulous hole-in-the-wall that’s the best-kept secret of the locals, but as far as providing immediate feedback about what restaurants, gas stations, and other amenities are on your route, it’s very useful.
Happy traveling! May your minivan’s air conditioner be vigorous and your coffee cup never run dry.
Copyright 2012 Dorian Speed