April 3, 2008

Mio - Plans in Place for Connected GPS

Mio has already announced that they are working with Qualcomm to figure out the wireless connectivity on a connected GPS, and have now announced that they are working with ATX, a telematics provider to get content streamed to the Mio device. ATX provides services to some of the top car brands in the world including Mercedes, Rolls Royce, and BMW, so getting content to people on the road should play to their strengths.

Mio is talking up gas prices, traffic, and local content for examples of what will be provided. To me, there are a couple of things that are going to make a connected device worth it:
1) Better traffic capabilities. With better connectivity, you can pump down more data, and hopefully you are smart in your choice for what and how to provide that data. Historical Average Speeds, Anonymous Traffic Data Reporting, Flow Data are all things that Dash is setting up as the standard as the first one to market.
2) Killer local content. With great searches comes great opportunities, and a well executed search capability will lead to satisfied customers. I would imagine that there were a lot of bad ideas along the way that were discarded by Dash before they got a system that worked well.

Mio has now re-stated that they expect a connected device in the market by the end of the year. Magellan has already pre-announced their connected device for launch this year. While TomTom has a connected device, in the TomTom HD, I don't believe is has all of the connectivity features of a Dash, but I expect a US debut later this year with a more full featured device. Finally there is no news out of the Garmin shop, but one has to think that the Nuvifone is going to display this capability and essentially act as their proxy for the first "connected GPS".

Press Release follows.....

Mio Technology, a leading worldwide supplier of personal GPS navigation devices, announced a services and development agreement with ATX Group, the world's largest independent telematics service provider to the automotive industry. Using ATX's content delivery infrastructure, Mio Technology will create a pipeline of real-time content and services for its next generation of personal navigation devices, demonstrated as prototypes this week at CTIA in Las Vegas. By adding connected content and services to the navigation experience, users can search and navigate more effectively in an ever-changing landscape. Mio Technology's ATX-powered connected devices will be available in the second half of 2008.

"Content is king in the future of PNDs - we believe the ability to deliver timely information about the user's surroundings is a huge differentiator, creating a richer navigation experience," said Kiyoshi Hamai, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing, Mio Technology Ltd. "By combining Mio Technology's legacy of innovative portable devices with ATX's information delivery capabilities, we're laying the groundwork for a new era of modern exploration."

Mio Technology's prototype connected device, first unveiled in January at CES 2008, boasts a sleek form-factor with a look-and-feel that current Mio customers will find familiar. But when turned on, the device goes a step beyond simple navigation, presenting a line-up of personalized real-time information to enhance the user experience. Mio Technology announced intentions to deliver the following capabilities to market in 2008:

  • Weather information and forecasting for your current and future surroundings
  • Traffic updates that provide current information about conditions on the road
  • Local information to explore your surroundings, including up-to-date address and phone listings for local businesses, and more

    "With a decade of actual market experience in serving nearly a million subscribers in both North America and Europe through in-vehicle telematics programs, ATX has gained tremendous insight into the types of content users want when navigating the roads and how to present that information in a clear, intuitive way," said Shiva Kalisetty, Vice President for Business Development, ATX Group. "Mobile Internet services extend the power and reach of personal navigation devices and makes points of interest even more interesting."

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    Posted by Scott Martin at April 3, 2008 6:15 AM
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