As Map Apps Add More Features, This Startup Aims To Make Navigation Simpler | #cybersecurity | #cyberattack


Google recently annnounced that it is adding more interactive features for Indian users. Earlier in the year, Google had announced Immersive View using which users can completely explore a landmark in select cities around the world. Apple too is constantly adding features to its native maps application to make it a more attractive prospect.

Against such a backdrop, a plucky startup is aiming to cut all the complications out of navigations to make it simpler for one to find their way around. If the app, Pataa, gains a large userbase, then gone will be the days when you have to explain directions to befuddled delivery executives despite having dropped a pin on your precise location.

Pataa Navigations is an Indore-based startup founded by Rajat and Mohit Jain. In November 2021, the startup claims to have raised seed funding to the tune of $2.1 million dollars from investors based in Dubai, the United States and India. So far, the app claims to have clocked 7 million active users

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How does it work?

The app — available on Android, iOS and web browsers — divides the the world into 3 square metre blocks, each with an unique code. All you have to do is drop a pin on your exact location, and you will be given a unique ID that has your complete address replete with navigation guidance.

Other features

Voice directions: Pataa claims to gives users the option of recording precixe directions to your address.

Landmark selection: Users can also select the nearest landmark from which they can select the best route to their address.

While these may not seem like revolutionary features, Kratika Jain, Pataa’s Chief Operating Officer, says the app, in fact, cuts out at least five steps in one navigating to a location. Further, staring July, Jain says the company has opened up its Application Programming Interface (API) to e-commerce websites and other delivery platforms, wherein you would just need to enter your Pataa unique ID.

“We will give our clients, with the short code, access to your information, address, your geo-tagged location, so that when you place the order, a QR code can be added to the label. The delivery guy can just scan the code to get the benefit of the app’s navigation system,” she explains.

The directions then open on a browser and Bob’s your uncle.

Jain makes sure to make the distinction between Pataa, and Google Maps and Apple Maps. “We are an addressing application, and not a navigation service. We only augment the maps apps,” she says.

Each 3×3 block has unique GPS coordinates and the world is divided into 3 billion blocks. which means many truckloads of potentially uniquely identifiable data, which is stored with Pataa.

That brings up the very pertinent question — how safe is my data? “We use 356-bit encryption,” says Jain.

This is one of the most secure encryption methods after 128- and 192-bit encryption, and is used in most modern encryption algorithms, protocols and technologies. Hackers will need to make 2 to the power of 256 attempts to break this encryption, which is a number running into 77 digits — virtually impossible, simply put.  

For an startup that is just over two-years-old, the goal to disrupt the whole navigation ecosystem might be quite ambitious, but it has a long way to go, and the company knows it.

First Published: IST



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