July 22, 2008

Nuvi 500/550 - Drive, Hike, Bike; Navigation on the Road & Trail

Garmin announced the Nuvi 500 and Nuvi 550 today, a combined use line of navigation devices that have a waterproof touchscreen and come loaded with street and Topo maps. The device will let you drive to your hiking spot, and at the top of the Main Menu screen touch on your new profile to flip over to a recreational use to go biking or geocaching.

I should have seen this coming on the heels of the Touchscreen Oregon handheld that was announced on July 10th, as they will share the same core technology of waterproof touchscreen. The idea of flipping profiles started with the Garmin Colorado line where you could have different settings according to your needs.

Loolking forward to seeing these soon.


Full press release follows.......

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN - News), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced a new series of personal navigators that combine cutting edge navigation features with outdoor recreation navigation capabilities. With one touch, the nuvi 500 transitions between driving, bicycling, boating or walking mode, while boasting sought-after features such as routing capabilities, improved mapping and water-proof hardware.

"This multi-mode nuvi is the ultimate device for those seeking portable navigation in the car and in the great outdoors," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "This product allows us to combine features from several of our most popular automotive and outdoor navigators into one compact unit. From weekend trips to the lake, to a hike around the trail, nuvi 500 is ideal for people seeking automotive and recreational navigation in one dynamic device."

Drive, hike, bike or boat with this portable and rugged unit -- the nuvi 500 is pre-loaded with both road maps and U.S. topographic maps. For use in and out of the car, simply touch the usage mode indicator located at the top of the home screen to change between driving, bicycling, boating or walking mode.

Get turn-by-turn directions, look up restaurants, and download geocaches from http://Geocaching.com with this versatile series. Ready for the great outdoors, the nuvi 500 models display shaded digital elevation mapping on the 3.5" water-proof touchscreen. This series comes standard with a compass page, track log and a removable, rechargeable battery for extended outdoor use. With one tap of the screen, users can also see their exact location with Garmin's "Where Am I?" feature. In addition, with Garmin Connect Photos, users can choose from millions of geo-located photos provided by Google's Panoramio photo sharing community to provide photo navigation by land or water.

When loaded with optional BlueChart® g2 Vision, and Inland Lake Vision marine cartography, the nuvi 500 series is great on the water, providing detailed chart-specific information, spot soundings, intertidal zones, wrecks, port plans, restricted areas and more.

For a scenic road trip, the nuvi 500 series comes preloaded with the Historic Route 66 map guide developed by MAD MAPS. This route spans from Chicago to Los Angeles, while highlighting specific points of interest associated with Route 66 along the way.

The nuvi 500 comes preloaded with detailed street and topographic mapping for the lower 48 U.S. states, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The nuvi 550 boasts comprehensive street map coverage of the U.S. and Canada. When either model is used with an optional receiver, users can receive important updated information from Traffic Message Channel or MSN Direct. The dynamic content from the MSN Direct network includes traffic conditions, fuel prices, weather reports, movie listings, headline news, stock updates and local events. A scooter mount will come standard in select European markets and sold as an optional accessory elsewhere.

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Posted by Scott Martin at July 22, 2008 6:07 AM

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