Here Mobility opens up the ridesharing market with SoMo at CES 2019

If you’re looking to get a lift into the city or elsewhere, pinging an Uber or Lyft is probably your most likely course of action. But hang on before tapping that app, as there’s another option in town. Here Mobility has taken to CES 2019 to launch SoMo — short for “social mobility” — a ridesharing, all-in-one travel app that brings all your options together.

The crux of the SoMo app revolves around user-created “Gatherings” — essentially just events, they can be set as public or private, depending on the event in question. For instance, if you were heading to a popular beach spot on a sunny day, you might create a public Gathering for that location. Anyone else heading to that location will be able to see your Gathering, and will be able to send a ride request if they’re near your planned route. You’ll then be able to accept or deny your new passenger. If accepted, SoMo’s navigation will automatically change your route to pick them up. Private events work similarly, but you’ll have to invite people for them to be able to see it.

Here Mobility posits that this system could also be used to plan daily work commutes, and allow workmates to pitch in and car pool effortlessly — because this app is essentially just the next generation of car pooling. By leveraging the power of social media, SoMo has made it easy to organize trips with your friends and share rides — saving and limiting the impact of fuels.

“SoMo taps into the power of social networks to reimagine the future of transportation,” says Liad Itzhak, senior vice president of Here Mobility. “Increasing the average car occupancy will make traffic jams disappear and will have an enormous impact on our planet, reducing pollution and making it much greener.”

It’s not all about this “social driving” though, and if you’re not feeling particularly social, SoMo can book a taxi to an event, too. After finding a Gathering on SoMo — or creating one yourself — SoMo will display available taxi services, along with an estimate of how long it will take to get to the destination and how much it will cost. Then it’s just a case of waiting for the taxi service to accept your ride request.

If this app has piqued your interest, you can check it out right now. It’s available on both iOS and Android, and Here Mobility is showing the app off at CES 2019. While Uber and Lyft have a stranglehold on ridesharing app services, at least for the time being, it’s possible SoMo will find its niche with car pooling and organizing for community events.

Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Photography

Nikon A1000, B600 pack big zooms into compact, budget-friendly cameras

The new Nikon Coolpix A1000 packs in a 35x zoom lens, 4K video, and an optical viewfinder, while Nikon's B600 brings a 60x zoom lens to the table. The cameras are modest updates to Nikon's budget-friendly zoom models.
Cars

Robomart’s self-driving grocery store is like Amazon Go on wheels

Robomart's driverless vehicle is like an Amazon Go store on wheels, with sensors tracking what you grab from the shelves. If you don't want to shop online or visit the grocery store yourself, Robomart will bring the store to you.
Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…
Mobile

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.
Photography

From DIY to AAA, here's how to take a passport photo in 6 different ways

If you're applying for a passport or renewing one, you need to submit a photo in your official application. There are strict guidelines, but fortunately, it's something you can do at home. Here's how to take a passport photo.
Mobile

OpenTable points can now be used to whittle down cost of a hotel stay

Have some OpenTable Dining Points built up? Now those points can also be used to make your own hotel discounts. OpenTable is teaming up with Kayak to use points as discounts on participating hotels.
Mobile

Get $100 discount on the Razer Phone 2 for a limited time

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Deals

REI slashes prices on Suunto, Garmin, and Fitbit Versa smartwatches

Though fitness trackers and smartwatches can get pretty pricey, REI is offering some sweet discounts on top brands. Right now, you can get a new smartwatch from Fitbit, Suunto, and Garmin for up to 35 percent off its normal price.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.
Wearables

Check out the four cool Swatch watches you can use for mobile payments

Swatch has announced its Swatchpay technology is now available in Switzerland, enabling mobile payments from your Swatch watch. It works in a similar way to Apple Pay and Google Pay. Here's everything about it.
Mobile

How to jailbreak your iPhone on iOS 12: A beginner’s guide

The latest jailbreaking tools for iOS 12 make freeing your iOS device easier than ever. This guide will teach you how to jailbreak your iPhone or iPad, and explain what jailbreaking will do for you.
Social Media

Spice up your Instagram videos by adding your top tunes to the soundtrack

Have you ever taken a beautiful video, only to have it ruined by some jerk in the background yelling curse words? Here's a list of apps you can use to add your own music to Instagram posts as well as your Story.
Home Theater

Dolby’s secret recording studio app may soon exit stealth mode

In secret testing since June, Dolby's stealth recording and social network app may soon be ready to make an appearance. Dolby 234 blends unique noise-canceling tech with Instagram-like audio filters.