Tech Byte: New app helps users navigate cities using 3 words

Emily Cassulo says navigating through a new city just got easier using what3words.

Product Manager Luke Mears says using what3words on the smartphone app, or Amazon Alexa comes in handy if you need to drop someone off or pick them up.

“You can go on there and start to discover three-word addresses for places that you know, places that you want to go,” Mears said.

What3words is all about location and it’s available in 40 languages.

“We’ve divided up the world into lots of three-by-three meter squares, and given each square a unique three-word address that is unique to that specific place and points in time,” Mears said.

How to use what3words

what3wordIt works with other apps on your phone to help you get to the right place.

  • Put in the address where you what to go
  • Choose the square for the exact location
  • Share those three words given with your Uber driver, if you’re not driving there yourself

“The key thing for us is making it easy to talk about a specific place,” Mears said. “There aren’t really any generally accepted easy ways to talk about locations, latitude, and longitude is very precise. But it’s very difficult to communicate a coordinate like that to a person. You could very easily make mistakes.”

Mears also says it removes the stress of meeting up with someone who doesn’t have an exact address.

“If you’re at a festival, at a beach, meeting some friends at a park, it’s very easy to get hung up on the phone, trying to work out where everyone is, ‘I’m by that little bench over there. I’m in a field in a corner by some tents. Which tent?’ This way, you can pinpoint an exact location, and then everyone can reference that, and send that to their friends,” Mear said.

Finally, the app is available for iOS and Android. You can also access an online map for three-word addresses at

Categories: 41 Today Get Smart, Local News, Tech Byte

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