Anagog guides you to open parking spots


October 7, 2013

Anagog monitors users' smartphones to determine when they've left a parking spot, so it can let other users know that the spot's available

Anagog monitors users' smartphones to determine when they've left a parking spot, so it can let other users know that the spot's available

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Yep, we've all been there – you leave your home in plenty of time to drive to an event, but end up being late because you spend such a long time looking for parking once you get there. Well, Israeli entrepreneur Yaron Aizenbud has created something that could make such parking-spot-searches considerably shorter. It's called Anagog, and it's a smartphone-based system that shows users where the open spots are, or even where spots are soon to be open. And unlike some other proposed systems, it doesn't require any hardware to be installed in the existing infrastructure.

To use the system to find a spot, users access the Anagog app as they approach their destination. This results in a street map being displayed on their screen, with the locations of spots recently or about-to-be vacated clearly indicated.

The system won't indicate where all of the open parking spots are, though – just the ones left by other Anagog users. The idea, needless to say, is that once enough people start using the system, it will still be far better than simply cruising around and hoping to just randomly come across a spot.

An Anagog screenshot from the company's home city of Tel Aviv

But how does Anagog know that its users are leaving spots open?

The low-power app constantly runs in the background on users' phones, and as Aizenbud describes to us, "[it] monitors the phone sensors in order to determine the mobility status of the user." While the exact details of how it does so are still under wraps, this monitoring process allows the software to determine where and when each user has stopped driving and gotten out of their car.

What's more, however, it also notes when they're walking back to the location of the parked car, along with when they get in and drive way. In this way, it's able to notify other users not only of the fact that a spot has recently opened, but it can also tip them off that the spot is about to open. This lets spot-seekers drive to the location and be ready to nab the spot as soon as the other car pulls out.

Anagog reportedly already has 100,000 users in Israel, although the company is now pursuing funding to get the system established in other markets around the world. Additionally, the Anagog technology has just been integrated into the existing EasyPark service in Europe and the US, that notifies subscribers when parking spots have become available. It's also already part of the FindMyCar app, that automatically notes where drivers have parked their car, then guides them back to it.

The following video illustrates how Anagog works.

Source: Anagog

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Won't work. Why? Because you will have to few people cooperating.

How many people that park somewhere actually have a smartphone with them. And how many of those actually have their GPS on all the time, while this will drain the battery? And how many of those will also have a constant mobile internet connection running? And how many of those allow an app like this to consume internet usage? And how many of those will actually install this app? And how many of those do actually live in your area? And how many of those will actually leave a parking spot in YOUR area, right when YOU need it? I would say you can be happy if that happens 2 times in your live.

Look at Waze. Thousands and thousands of people using it, contributing and in that way be rewarded for it, they have GPS on and mobile internet while driving. And even though there is plenty of time to find them in your neighbourhood you hardly see them close by your self, let alone catch on actually parking or driving away.

Even if you build it in in EVERY smart phone (Android/iPhone/WIndows) you are processing so much information in the servers, that is virtually never going to be used. Because you simply virtually never catch the leaving parking person on the spot while you are looking for it.

Joost de Nijs

I have to disagree with Joost, I know few who are without their phones.

GNSS chipsets are becoming less power hungry than previous models.

Internet use is not necessary, SMS will work as well. Only internet use required is for the map.

Opt in strategies grow with success. Why not simply touch an icon on your screen to announce you are going to your car preparing to depart. It is like recycling, go get no direct and immediate benefit; it grows as others join into the movement.

Why does it matter where I live or where you live. Either the service is supported in the area or it isn't.

Now I do have a problem with accuracy as that is a key component to success. But that is improving as well with fewer network provided location calculations required.


Love it but not all have smartphones, must tie into another system for smartphone users alone IF req. Must have app for every user big time.

Stephen Russell

The one thing Joost left out as to why (even with unlikely initial success, for the reasons Joost points out) this idea won't work is that once a large proportion of motorists are using it, everyone will be going for the same parking spots. So it's sort-of self-defeating, in the long term.

Martin Winlow
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