MSN Direct API “Send to GPS” released

msndirect_thumb News Just getting the urge to regurgitate press releases out of our system today – but here’s just one more (hey, we read press releases so you don’t have to!).  Today Microsoft has announced an API for MSN Direct, to allow websites to send location information to navigation devices either wirelessly or via a USB connection.

“MSN Direct opens up opportunities for Web sites in a variety of areas — real estate, travel, event planning and food service — to make it fast and simple for visitors to have access to turn-by-turn directions on their navigation device,” said Joe Coco, product unit manager of the MSN Direct initiative at Microsoft. “MSN Direct helps consumers get the most out of their navigation device, while also helping businesses drive more customers to their locations.”

A number of MSN Direct partners, including Garmin and Alpine Electronics Inc., plan to ship or are already shipping GPS products that are compatible with the MSN Direct Send to GPS feature.

“As more and more consumers are using their PC to locate their desired destinations and then needing to find those exact locations on their GPS device, MSN Direct is making that process easier for our customers,” said Roger Jollis, Garmin’s director of OEM and mobile marketing. “Garmin was the first to offer MSN Direct on an automotive GPS, and we are pleased with MSN Direct’s newest innovation because it will be very helpful to our customers.”

MSN Direct, which began with a collection of (huge) SPOT watches and appliances, has now evolved into integration with GPS devices and Windows Mobile phones, making it much more useful to a larger audience (in the non-giant-geek-watch wearing set).

The API is available at MSN Direct/Developer, and you can learn more about MSN Direct on the home page.