January 31, 2006

Lowrance to Merge and become Navico

lowrancelogo.jpg Lowrance is merging with Simrad Yachting company and will be named Navico, a new wholly owned subsidiary of Simrad formed by the merger. Lowrance is one of the world's largest providers of marine electronics to leisure boats and has a particularly strong presence in the fish finders and GPS navigation systems segments of the market. In addition to marine electronic products, Lowrance has produced for over 10 years hand-held GPS mapping products for campers and hikers, as well GPS navigation systems for the automotive and aviation markets.

So, Simrad Yachting has its business in high end yachting electronics. Clearly Lowrance's extensive business in marine electronics is of primary interest here, but one has to question where things stand for the developing consumer segment, especially their automotive products. The founder and current CEO, Darrell Lowrance will be the head of the new combined company, which assumes that they still value the entire Lowrance line and have plans for it.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 31, 2006

TeleAtlas to offer 3D Maps of Major Cities

teleatlas3d-map.jpgMap supplier TeleAtlas plans on shipping 3D map data of large European and American cities by the end of 2006 - this is a pretty interesting innovation and it follows some of the Google Earth type applications that allow you to see a very real life view of a city as you are moving through it. So, by the end of this year, TeleAtlas is planning on shipping these new maps to major GPS companies like TomTom and Cobra. The question is, who is planning on bringing this innovation to the market first. I would assume that you are starting to talk about even bigger hard drives to handle the information. The other question is will the thing be useful and easy to understand whil you are driving the confusing streets of an unknown city.

The folks over at My TomTom GO are reporting this information.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 31, 2006

Verizon Wireless Launches VZ Navigator Service

vznnaviservice.jpgVerizon Wireless, the nation’s premier provider of wireless products and services, announced today the availability of VZ NavigatorTM – a new tool for customers that gives them access to a wide array of Location Based Services (LBS) options, including mapping, audible turn-by-turn navigation and the ability to find over 14 million points of interest. We reported on this in December, now Verizon is getting around to launching the service.

Initially available on the new Motorola V325, VZ Navigator is perfect for road warriors who are constantly on-the-go, allowing them to see a map of their current location or an address in the U.S., locate places such as restaurants, gas stations, banks and other points-of-interest relative to their location, plus hear turn-by-turn navigation with audible voice directions to an address in the U.S. VZ Navigator will help Verizon Wireless customers get to where they are going, easily and efficiently.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 28, 2006

What is SiRF Star III chipset?

We have had a few users asking What is the SiRF Star III chipset, and why is it so important? Well, the SiRF Star III chipset is a pretty big innovation in the GPS world, as it is a dramatically better performance for getting a GPS signal from satellites and getting you a location on your GPS. The 3 key advantages of the SiRF star III chipset are 1) Faster fix times, 2) High sensitivity for better locking of satellite signals in tough areas like under dense foliage or in urban canyons of sky scrapers, and 3) Low power drain for longer battery life.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

January 27, 2006

January 26, 2006

Amazon now selling NavMan Sport Tools

sporttool.jpgNavman has launched a line of Sport Tool GPS training devices that seek to capture some of the market that Garmin has really opened up with their ForeRunner product line. NavMan's Sport Tool line has several customized GPS training devices that are sport specific, including Sport Tool Marine, Sport Tool Run, Sport Tool Walk, Sport Tool Snow and Sport Tool Skate.

The idea is that each sport demands a bit of customization and NavMan has done the work for you, giving you the training data and maybe the bragging rights to the best of the day's activities. So for the Sport Tool Snow, you get a GPS device that tracks a lot of data including vertical feet skied or boarded, but it takes out the chairlift rides automatically. The cool designs are sure to be attractive where ever you take them. You can't download to your computer like the higher end ForeRunners. Amazon is now selling most of the line, including FREE SHIPPING. Most are priced under $100. Check them out:

Sport Tool Run

Sport Tool Snow

Sport Tool In-Line Skate

Sport Tool Walking

Sport Tool Water Sports

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

New Service from SiRF - SiRFInstantFix

We all know about SiRF star III chips by now - they are in all kinds of new GPS units increasing accuracy and battery life through their accurate low power chips. SiRF today introduced SiRFInstantFix, a unique service that minimizes the start-up wait time for GPS systems. SiRFInstantFix provides consumers with the ability to turn on their SiRF-based navigation devices and achieve the first fix in as fast as eight seconds to begin navigating faster than ever before, even through urban canyons, under dense foliage and in other weak-signal conditions. The service basically predicts where satellites are going to be for the next 7 days and upon waking tomorrow morning, it already has a jump on where it is due to this prediction. Not bad. Life is no good when you are driving down the road while waiting for a signal from the GPS!

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

SiRF aquires Impulsoft - Bluetooth Solutions

SiRF announced that it has acquired Impulsesoft, an expert in Bluetooth stereo solutions and embedded software, in a cash transaction. This acquisition significantly improves SiRF’s capabilities to deliver and support value-added embedded software solutions, to complement its chip-set offerings, for enhanced user experience.

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SiRFLink1 - GPS and Bluetooth

SiRF also announced today that they are launching a GPS and Bluetooth platform. They also announced their SiRFLink service today (see article). If their Bluetooth works as well as their GPS reception, they have something going here. SiRFLinkI utilizes a broad range of innovations and advanced technologies to provide a very compact, low power and cost-effective solution for products that need both GPS and Bluetooth functions. Based on an enhanced Bluetooth baseband core, optimized for SiRFLink architecture, from NewLogic Inc, SiRFLinkI minimizes the need for duplicate resources both on and off chip for GPS and Bluetooth functions, thus reducing system level costs.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 25, 2006

New Satellite - Powerful GPS Signals


So back in September, we reported that the US government launched a new satellite to help power up the ailing GPS satellite fleet of aging satellites (see story). Well, bring it on, it's now working ofr the rest of us. Today the government flipped the switch on the signal and turned its power on for the rest of us. "So what?" you ask? Well the higher power is supposed to help with GPS signal reception in urban canyon areas. Great for the coming fleet of mobile phones that are populating the world right now.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

WorldTracker SMS - Small GPS Tracking

worldtrackersms.jpgWorldTracker SMS is a pretty small device that can track just about anything you want providing real time updates to you via SMS to your moile phone or PDA. When placed with packages, vehicles, or personnel, the WorldTracker SMS provides detailed reports of routes traveled for quality-control and security purposes. The data can also be seen through Google Earth which is a great option to visualize the data.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 20, 2006

Big Growth in the European Navigation Market

There has been some pretty big growth in the European GPS device market. Some sellers have seen 600% growth in sales, year over year. The question is, how long with this last. TomTom is a major entrant in the European market, while Garmin launched loads of models in the last 12 months in an effort to make major advances in the automotive market. With prices coming down, feature sets growing, and more and more people becoming familiar with GPS's, it's no wonder that the market is exploding. ABI research has released a report about the dramatic growth.

"We believe the market explosion Europe currently faces has been caused by three main factors," says Dan Benjamin, principal analyst with ABI Research's transportation research practice. "First, the cost of these devices have come down dramatically. Second, several vendors have been fully able to leverage the marketing and distribution channels available to them. Finally, the added feature of traffic awareness for dynamic navigation in many PNAV [personal navigation] models has made the offerings even more compelling."

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Ford to Give Away Garmin StreetPilot C320

Well, unfortunately this promo is only in Taiwan for now, but Garmin announced that it will work with Ford Taiwan to give away a new Garmin StreetPilot C320 with every new car bought between now and the Chinese New Year. The program began in November, with just one car model, but it has been extended to several car models because it has been so popular. Interesting promotion, and interesting that it has been so popular. Humm, imagine what this would do for Garmin if they did this with every Ford vehicle in the US?!?!?

The C320 series is a lower end model that offers downloadable maps onto SD card, but has a good size touchscreen and a great interface. We used the Streetpilot C340 here at the GPS Lodge, and wrote a review on it (We loved it) - read the article. Also, you can read a review on the StreetPilot C330 here.

"We are very excited to be partnered with Ford to offer our most popular automotive navigation unit for the Taiwanese market," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's vice president of marketing. "It's further evidence that Garmin products are sought after around the world."

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Review: Garmin Nuvi 350 GPS Review

Garmin nuviGarmin launched the Garmin nuvi last year and broke into small handheld smart GPS devices that marked a bold move to add features that are not commonly found, targeting business travelers. With included MP3 player and the ability to play audiobooks downloaded from Audible.com, it may just help you pass the hours in the airport too.

In their Review of the Garmin Nuvi 350, Businessweek recently called it the Easiest, Smartest GPS yet in a review. They seemed to like it a lot for its GPS capabilities including its fast satellite fix times and its easy intuitive interface.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 18, 2006

SiRF star III Chipset- Patent Infringement?

Many of us have seen the SiRF star III chipset showing up in numerous products in the last 6 months from the Garmin Nuvi to the forthcoming Garmin Forerunner 205 and 305, to the new TomTom ONE and the Mio A201. The chipset looks like a winner for its high sensitivity and low power draw. Now there is a concern that the chipset infringes on U-NAV's patents. Previously SiRF has filed claims that u-NAV had infringed on SiRF's patents.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 16, 2006

Motorola Invests in GPS Firm - Global Locate

In another sign that location based services (LBS) are going to be here to stay, Motorola announced that they have invested in a privately held firm, Global Locate. They are a firm that specializes in A-GPS or Assisted GPS technology. So, your GPS phone doesn't work so well in the concrete canyons of the city, or even indoors? Their technology can help.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Traffic Reporting for your GPS Explained

There's a decent article in the Boston Globe this morning that talks about how traffic reporting works. It talks of how it's changing from some guy in a chopper to a pretty complex system of data reporting through roadside sensors and passive cell phone monitoring to get data uploaded to places like Traffic.com and NAVTEQ and then back out to you through XM satellite (or FM transmission) feeds. Many of the new Garmin units (StreetPilot C340, StreetPilot 2720 and 2730)as well as TomTom GO 300, GO 700, and the Cobra NavOne 4500 come with available traffic feed services. The traffic feed system is still in its infancy in my opinion, but will quickly become a must have feature for commuters in heavy traffic cities.

ReadMore

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 15, 2006

Globalsat GV-201 GPS Introduced

Globalsat GV-201Globalsat also introduced their GV-201 all in one GPS navigation device at CES. The Globalsat GV-201 is a GPS receiver with built in MP3 and MP4 playback. The convergence of music and GPS navigation has definitely taken hold as this is one of many units to have the playback features for music, but one of only a few at this point to offer video playback. It also displays pictures.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

GPS Review: Cobra NavOne 4500

Another review has popped up on the Cobra NavOne 4500 over at CNet. We used the Cobra NavOne 4500 for about a month and reviewed it here at the GPS Lodge last November. We liked it for its large screen and the luxury of features that you can put on such a large screen. (Read our review). The size was an issue for us as the unit fell off the windshield one day as I was driving down the road, but Cobra tells me that they are fixing this mount problem. We weren't so impressed with the traffic feeds as they seemed to show things in better light than I thought they should be, but they show promise and I believe that traffic feeds are THE feature of GPS units for the car in the coming years. John Delaney over at CNet wrote in their review that they thought the Cobra NavOne 4500 was excellent and gave it 8.3 out of 10 (Excellent), and said the "Overall the NavOne is a winner."

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 14, 2006

Globalsat Launches Globalsat BC-337 Compact Flash GPS Receiver

Globalsat has announced another GPS receiver, this time a compact flash card based GPS receiver that uses the SiRF star III chipset. With its 20 channel capability and its low power draw this should be a pretty good piece of hardware.

"Unlike traditional GPS receivers which require separate antennas or wires, the BC-337 is an integrated receiver with a built-in patch antenna designed to fit directly into the Compact Flash or PCMCIA slot. The BC-337 was designed in SiRF Star III with wireless consumer applications in mind; it will give accurate readings from up to 20 channels. The BC-337 has an exceptional accuracy of WAAS which makes it ideal for detailed turn-by-turn mapping. The BC-337 is an inexpensive, flexible alternative to traditional navigation systems. The BC-337 is truly transportable. Insert it into your PDA and place it in a convenient spot in your car and enjoy the benefits of using your additional mapping software for intelligent route calculation and voice-prompted, turn-by-turn navigation instructions."

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

HP and Michelin team up for the ViaMichelin iPAQ rx1950 Navigator

HP has a pretty good little PDA business, and in a move similar to TomTom last year, HP is teaming up with a well known travel partner to launch a GPS device. Recall that TomTom is making a MapQuest PND in the US - see our story.

The solution offers a variety of smart features for accurate turn-by-turn visual and voice guidance to any address in the UK1 - just plug in and go. In addition, integrated wireless WLAN capability ensures connectivity from home, at work and on the road. It is targeted for launch in the UK.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

TomTom buys Applied Generics

TomTom has made a big move into traffic data feeds in Europe signaling the importance of the traffic feed features of GPS in the coming years. Applied Generics has developed technology to generate real time road traffic flow data based on mobile network usage and cell switching data. The technology is already commercially deployed so this isn't some pipe dream lab experiment. Basically the technology passively looks at how mobile phone users are (or are not) switching between towers and determines traffic flow characteristics form their calculated speed.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 13, 2006

Best of the Blogpire

Slingplayermacintosh2-350Another week and another Best of the Blogpire. It looks like the Mac OS X is finally getting some GPS support: Garmin Announces MAC OS X Support and other devices like the new Sling device are making SlingPlayer.

Single Serve Coffee.com continues the onslaught of coffee reviews with Review: Aerobie AeroPress Coffee & Espresso Maker and if you're a coffee pod user Review: Eight 0' Clock Colombian Coffee Pods.

Just The Chips finds two new books - one on Poker humor: A collection of poker wit and a return to a classic poker book Hold'Em Poker for Advanced Players.

Want to get a new cool fridge? Kitchen Contraptions finds 50's Inspired Refrigerators from Smeg and GE Custom Cabinet Refrigerators & Freezers.

Shaving Stuff.com continues their Review of KENMEN products, part 2.

TV Snob.com also has an amazing run down of all the cool new gadgets from CES: TVSnob CES 2006 Roundup.

Shirt Snob.com has found new Hoodies at Threadless!!!.

Want to know how to find better wine? Wine News: 10 ways to become a smarter, thriftier wine buyer.

And of course we save the best for last - check out The Liquor Snobby Awards: Best of 2005. Magic.

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 12, 2006

Lowrance iWay 350C Arrives for Review at the GPS Lodge

Lowrance iWay 350CThe Lowrance iWay 350C arrived for review at the GPS Lodge and we are pretty happy to see it. Lowrance has been ramping up production on these and I had to wait for Santa to get all of his delivered before I could get a review unit - I don't resent it; it's great sounds like business is brisk. The Lowrance iWay 350 was recently released and is in the crowded mid-tier automotive GPS segment. It has lots of features laid out in a nice compact product. The 3.5" backlit LCD touch screen is bright and is easy to read. The unit gives you turn-by-turn voice guided directions on your way while navigating, telling "Turn Right on Main Street" and not "Turn Right in 400 feet." This is quickly becoming a standard feature and one that I have come to appreciate. I think that this feature is great when turning streets start to get close together, and you need that extra reassurance of what street to turn onto. Another nice feature is the on-board lithium ion, which allows you to operate without being tethered to the car power outlet.


See our review of the Lowrance iWay 350c.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

U-Blox LEA-4A low cost GPS Chip

Another tiny low cost, highly sensitive GPS chip is hitting the market. As more and more of these hit the market, expect GPS devices to drop in cost, size and more GPS enabled products will come to market.

The LEA-4A, a mere 17 x 22 mm in size, is u-blox' new low-cost GPS module, featuring the recently released 16-channel ANTARIS 4 receiver technology developed jointly by Atmel and u-blox. The LEA-4A module provides high performance using 40% less power than its predecessor (the LEA-LA) and includes a USB port for flexible connectivity, high data rates and combined power and data transmission over one link.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

JVC KP-PX9 GPS

JVC announced at the CES show the launch of their entry into the Portable Navigation device category with the JVC KP-PX9; rolls right off the tongue doesn't it? This little number comes with a 3.5" touch screen and a 20GB hard drive and the ability to play music and movies. The size puts it in competition with the Lowrance iWay 350C, and the Garmin C-series. Neither can play movies though, and that's where the premium price of around $800 comes in for this little number.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin Exclusive GPS supplier to BMW and MINI in UK

Garmin has struck a deal in the UK to be the exclusive dealer of portable GPS units for dealerships in the UK for BMW and Mini's. Garmin will make available the StreetPilot C310, StreetPilot C320, StreetPilot C330 and the Garmin nuvi 350.

"Drivers throughout the UK have recognized Garmin as the leader in GPS because of our years of experience, proven reliability, and diverse product line," said Sean Biddlecombe, Garmin's director of international marketing. "We are very pleased to have been selected by BMW as their portable GPS navigation supplier, and we look forward to working together to provide BMW and MINI customers with GPS navigation."

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 11, 2006

Directed Electronics NAV350 GPS

Directed Electronics, announced at the 2006 Consumer Electronics Show that it is entering the vehicle navigation category with the NAV350 Portable Navigation System. These folks make a couple of interesting portable video products, so I guess they thought it might be good to jump on the GPS bandwagon. I'll keep my eyes open to bring more on this - sorry the news is brief.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

World's Smallest GPS Receiver

You want a GPS in a small device? Well here you go, the world's smallest GPS receiver. The company is Rakon and they are out of New Zealand, and from the looks of things, it's pretty small. Rakon has just developed a module, as tiny as a baby's fingernail, and is already fielding calls from GPS manufacturers looking to imbed the product in their own new developments.


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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 10, 2006

Garmin Announces MAC OS X Support

Garmin announced at Mac World that they are going to make their devices compatible with Mac OS X version 10.4 ("Tiger") - starting immediately. This is good news - I have lots of friends who run Macs and hate the fact that the great GPS units coming out of Garmin can't be run as intended on their computers. Specifically, friends are very interested in the Forerunners and the training center software, which will be the first to get the Mac translation - see below.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Enterprise Car Rental to offer Garmin StreetPilot C340

Taking another page from the Magellan playbook, Garmin is teaming up with yet another car rental firm - this time it's Enterprise car rental renting the Garmin StreetPilot C340. Previously, Garmin struck a deal with Dollar/ Thrifty car rental - see announcement, where they are renting a similar model, the Garmin StreetPilot C330.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Alpine Blackbird PMD B100 GPS

Alpine Electronics of America, Inc., the market leader in the high fidelity and high performance mobile equipment has recently launched it's latest innovation a portable navigation device (PND) called the Blackbird PMD-B100. The system can be docked to system and it also has an integrated traffic receiver. Nice looking piece - I guess if GPS receivers can play music, why can't Alpine get into GPS? Music/GPS combo units are coming, so get used to it as a standard feature set for units $400 and up.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 9, 2006

Google and VW working on GPS System

Google and Volkswagon are working together to develop navigation systems for VW cars. Not a bad marriage. Volkswagen AG and the search engine Google Inc are working together to develop a prototype navigation system for cars, Google founder Larry Page said at the Consumer Electonics Fair in Las Vegas, said Die Welt newspaper.

The aim is to integrate the Google application Google Earth, an electronic world map, into VW cars. Google software will allow single images from satellites and aerial photographs to be incorporated into a detailed visual navigation system able to zoom in on buildings. Aerial views are OK, but I want pictures of the actual building. This would certainly help in the situations where you are looking for a specific building or location - if you could pull up an actual picture of the actual business/building. I would assume that you won't be bringing along a few terabytes of information on your VW Jetta, so maybe this is being planned for high speed internet connections to the car?

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 7, 2006

Mio 268 GPS with Video Playback

Mio 268InterVideo, a pioneer in advancing DVD and MPEG-related software technologies, announced today that Mio Technology Ltd. has chosen InterVideo and Ulead to be the providers of its multimedia solutions for the Mio 268 GPS PDA product. By incorporating InterVideo's iMobi MPEG-4 video and AAC audio codec technologies along with Ulead's video converter toolbox software, Mio Technology delivers high-quality video and audio on the Mio GPS PDA. Not a bad convergence.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

TrafficKit for Magellan Roadmate 760 GPS

Thales Navigation, global innovator of Magellan consumer GPS products for outdoor recreation and vehicle navigation, announced today its newest real-time traffic information and detour solution for North America, following the success of a sound real-time traffic system already available in Europe. The Magellan TrafficKit uses high quality traffic information from NavTeq to inform drivers of incidents that stop or restrict the flow of traffic and intelligently guides drivers around traffic jams to get them to their destination faster. Available in April, the Magellan TrafficKit for North America will be available for preview demonstrations at the 2006 International CES show. Magellan needs this. Competition is delivering live traffic features in their lines. I've said it once, and I'll say it again, this is where automotive GPS units are going and if you aren't there you aren't anywhere.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Stolen GPS Units on the Rise

Now that you have that nice GPS hanging off your windshield, you'd better protect it. Thieves are starting to realize their value and the ease of stealing them. In Brookline and Cambridge, both just outside of Boston, reports of stolen GPS units are on the rise. Since mid-December, Brookline Police have noticed a rash of thefts of electronic Global Positioning System units from inside parked cars in town, following a trend across the state. In Brookline, and nearby Cambridge, police have received reports for more than 20 systems, which can cost more than $1,000 depending on the model, being stolen from inside cars.

Brookline Police Captain John O'Leary said that gadgets like these, which are new and in-demand, are easy targets when left on the dashboard in plain sight, especially because they're small and easy to pocket, and aren't permanently mounted in the car.

So watch out!

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 6, 2006

Inrix - Traffic PREDICTION

Readers of GPS Lodge might remember the name Inrix as I have mentioned the company here a couple of times. Inrix has taken on the test of modeling traffic in major cities and then predicting what will happen as a result of bad weather, or an accident, let's say. Inrix knows that when an accident happens in the middle lane on a certain major road, that it will take so many hours for the road to clear again and function normally. Inrix watches in real time what is happening and then predict what traffic will be like as a result. With this information you can route plan for the fastest routing.

There are a couple of nice write up on them with some extra news (links below).

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Best of the Blogpire

Blopire 120Welcome to 2006 and Happy New Year from Blogpire Productions. Everyone here is geared up for the new year filled with cool products, news, and of course our witty banter and we're dedicated to bringing you all three (we're working on a fourth) everday. So sit back and relax and check out the Best of the Blogpire!

Single Serve Coffee.com: Review: My K-Cup Keurig Reusable Filter - Best of Single Serve Coffee.com 2005

Just The Chips.com: PSP World Series of Poker Revisited - Illustrated Royalty Poker Chips

Kitchen Contraptions.com: Making Eggs Singapore Style - simplehuman Butterfly Step Can

Shaving Stuff.com: New York Facial Hair Patterns and Shaving Trends - High-End Shaving Gear from Penhaligons

TV Snob.com: Futurama Coming Back to TV ? - Finding the Right HDTV for the Xbox 360

Shirt Snob.com: New Tees at Threadless - Big Sale at Girlshop

GPS Lodge.com: Turn your Magellan Roadmate 800 into a DivX Movie Player - Pharos Traveler 525 GPS -

The Cooking News.com: Food News: Fast Food More Than Twice Weekly Adds Pounds - Wine News: 2006 looks to be a good year for wine

Liquor Snob.com: Belly Up To TheBar.com - Bottle Blaster Review

Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 5, 2006

Chitter Chatter Kids Phone - A GPS Equipped Kids Phone

The new Chitter Chatter kids' phone was designed to empower kids and parents with both phone and LBS tracking capabilities, with a suggested retail price of under $50. these folks are taking a different approach to the kids phone thing by dropping the phone into the watch form factor and using the GPS functionality to get location based information back to the parents.

Hop-on's Chitter Chatter kids phone will solve the answer the question of "Where is my child?" through state-of-the-art GPS Enhanced LBS (Location Based Services) tracking . The Track-Me! Feature allows the user to send the address of his/her location to their parents' cell phones via a SMS message. Parents can also track their children by sending an SMS message to their child's phone. The parents will receive the address of the child's location. The location can also be tracked over the Internet.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

New Mio C710 and Mio C310

Mio has been releasing GPS devices all last year with lots of interest, and now they have announced two more devices. The Mio C710 is a high end device with Bluetooth connectivity, media player functionality for photo and video playback, and if you are lucky enough to be in a traffic feed served market - you get to use the lifetime live traffic feed service. The Mio C310 lacks the Bluetooth and the traffic feeds.

See our Review of the Mio C310 - Read Review

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

DriveSync Debuts at CES

DriveSync has s new approach to tracking cars - most likely teens of paranoid parents. This unit avoids the subscription fees by caching the results of where the car has been on the unit in a little USB drive. You then grab the drive, plug it into the computer and see what's up.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Turn your Magellan Roadmate 800 into a DivX Movie Player

Over at GPS Passion there is a post that tells you how to get into your Magellan Roadmate 800 to modify it so that you can play movies on it. The Magellan RoadMate 800 is apparently running a full version of Windows CE4.2 and there is a keystroke sequence to get into the hidden menu. Once there, you can upload programs to alter the functionality. It may work, or it may blow your $800 for your RM800. I can't vouch for the accuracy and if you do this you're on your own.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 4, 2006

Pharos Traveler 525 GPS

Pharos announced that they are launching the Pharos Traveler 525, a PDA based GPS device that is the first such integrated device to include WiFi, Bluetooth in the Windows Mobile platform. the big news here is that it also comes pre-loaded with Skype for Pocket PC for PC to PC communication all over the world. Because it's Windows based, you'll be able to sync up with your desktop or laptop to bring your addressbook, appointments and documents with you. The Pharos traveler 525 comes pre-loaded with maps of 50 US cities.


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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

January 3, 2006

Read the Garmin Nuvi Blog and Win a Nuvi

So, Garmin figured that they would write up a blog from the CES this week, and they are writing it from the point of view of their new Nuvi traveler's assistant.

Nuvi is a portable GPS navigator, traveler's reference, and digital entertainment system, all in one. Combined with detailed maps, nuvi provides automatic routing, turn-by-turn voice directions that speak street names, and finger-touchscreen control-making it easy to find your way anywhere.

Sign up for the Nuvi Drawing

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin iQUE 3000 PDA

Garmin announced the new Garmin iQue 3000 today, a new entry level Palm powered PDA that has an integrated GPS receiver with the appropriate software. The iQUE 300 joins the iQUE 3200 and the iQUE 3600 PDAs already in the Garmin line. You ask, what about the M3, M4, and M5? Yea, those are the Windows powered PDA's made by Garmin. The 3000 series PDA's are all Palm powered. OK, what else?

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin GVN 52 - a GPS navigation box for your car

Garmin announced the Garmin GVN 52 GPS receiver today, a black box for use in cars with other components that will display the information. Garmin's GPS hardware and familiar StreetPilot user interface and is designed to be integrated with mobile audio/video entertainment systems. Kenwood Corporation and Riverpark, a national distributor of mobile audio products to the U.S. recreational vehicle industry, are among the first companies to offer the GVN 52 on select products.

This type of product entry is very much needed for Garmin who will find their market shrinking as navigation units in cars become the cheaper alternative that most cars have. Eventually, this type of product offering could put Garmin in a place where they could have the navigation system Garmin branded in cars off the lot. This would be similar to Bose stereo systems that are offered in some cars. As you can imagine, it's not having the hardware, it's also having the experience to deliver the software that works for most people. Garmin has figured this out, but a lot of others haven't and that's a competitive advantage that Garmin can sell.


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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin's new Bluetooth GPS receiver for the Palm - GPS 10

Garmin also announced today the Garmin GPS 10 receiver for use with Palm OS devices. The unit receives the GPS signal and then transmits it to the Palm device for use with Palm based GPS software. This makes it possible for you to have the GPS receiver in clear view of the sky while your PDA is in clear view of you!

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin Announces the X Upgrades Legend Cx, Vista Cx, GPSMAP 60Cx, 60CSx, 76Cx, 76CSx

Another big confirmation out of Garmin today that they are launching the new upgraded line of handhelds. We reported on the launch back in December. The big news for Garmin is that they have included the SiRF star III chipset for high accuracy in difficult situations and longer battery life. The big news for us is that they finally moved the products to include removable storage in the form of the micro SD card. The cards are currently available in the StreetPilot i-series and let me tell you they are tiny. They are available in some decent sizes, so that you can carry A LOT more data around with you. My Garmin Vista C can carry most of New England around in 24MB with a decent amount of detail, but I still want more. I'd take the whole country if I could.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin Forerunner 205 and 305 Announced

Garmin announced the new Forerunner 205 and Forerunner 305 today, confirming the news that we reported here in November. The new Garmin Forerunner 205 and Garmin Forerunner 305 feature a totally new design for the wrist mounted trainers that wraps the device around the wrist more to make sure that the antenna is facing the sky in normal use. Also, with the addition of the SiRF star III chipet, reception should be greatly improved. This was a minor issue when we used our Forerunner 201 during the Fall in heavy tree cover, but not so bad that it became unusable or dropped signals totally.

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin Nuvi's New Features - The Savers Guide

Garmin announced today that the Garmin Nuvi is getting great reaction and that they are adding new features - specifically a location based coupon book. It's kindof like buying into a club that gives you discounts at participating shops.

"Public response to Nuvi has been amazing," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's vice president of marketing. "We believe it's because nuvi is a one-of-a-kind, all-in-one device; a GPS navigator, an MP3 player, an audio book player, a language translator, a travel guide, and much more. Nuvi provides industry leading convergence of capabilities in the PND product category."

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Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
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