January 12, 2008

CES Round-Up - Where GPS is Going

There is always a lot happening at CES, and this year is no different, but in looking at the models that came out of CES and where the GPS world has changed I think that it can boil it down to four things:

1) Connected GPS - With Dash going pre-sale recently, TomTom launching TomTom HD in the Netherlands, and now Magellan getting on the connected bandwagon, there is a strong move to the connected GPS. Now it remains to be seen if the market will develop for a unit that is at the high end of the market in terms of price and comes with a monthly fee. See my post on Connected GPS: The Next Generation.

2) BIGGER SCREENS - A lot of GPS makers must have been at the same focus group. While Garmin had the StreetPilot 7200 out a while ago with a 7 inch screen, these new units are coming out with a nice in-between size of 4.8 - 5.2 inches. Noticeably larger than the widescreen units on the market today. The Garmin Nuvi 5000 is the biggie in their line now. With all that screen real estate, I wonder how the battery life will be driving all of those beautiful pixels.

3) Better traffic with Historical Average Speeds - the capability to jam down a database of historical average speeds onto a GPS has been there for a while now, but has not debuted. With the advent of higher bandwidth connections and Historical Average Speeds, traffic solutions will take a big jump; combine that with a connected GPS model where other drivers act as traffic probes, and you;ve got a step change over the TMC solution on the market today. Magellan Maestro Elite 5340 + GPRS has Historical Average Speeds as a feature. Also Navteq announced that they are working with Intellinav to put historical average speeds on devices..... that's two makers with historical average speeds supplied by Navteq, the map maker for Garmin; their entry must be on the way.

4) 3-D Mapping - Forgot to mention this in the original version, but three dimensional maps with renderings of buildings and terrain are coming to the US, and hopefully soon. TeleAtlas is collecting info on what buildings look like, and is including it in Maps of the US. NavnGo demo'd the capability at CES; they currently supply several GPS makers with software. They also use TeleAtlas maps. It is expected that true 3-D with renderings of buildings will make for an easier navigation experience through urban areas.

Read More in: CES 2008 | Dash News | Garmin GPS News | Magellan GPS News | Traffic News

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Posted by Scott Martin at January 12, 2008 3:53 PM

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