January 31, 2007

Monthly Round-up for January 2007

January was a pretty busy month here at the GPS Lodge, with lots of news pouring out of the CES 2007 show, it kept things hopping for a few days. In general though, there is a lot going on with new models, and companies posturing for the summer travel season here in the US and in Europe.

See our Big Round-up of CES 2007 for highlights.

Coming out of CES 2007, I was able to review the announced, but not yet available Garmin Nuvi 680:

  • Garmin Nuvi 680 Full Review by GPS Lodge.

    I was also able to take a look at the Bushnell NAV-500 unit:

  • Review: Bushnell NAV-500 Review by GPS Lodge

    Other Reviews from around the Net:

  • Navman N60i Review
  • Review Via Michelin X-980
  • DeLorme PN-20 Handheld Review
  • Via Michelin X-930 Review
  • Garmin Zumo 550 Review
  • Garmin StreetPilot 2820 Review
  • Route 66 GPS: Chicago 9000 Review

    New GPS Models
    Almost all of them were announced at CES, except the GolfLogix/Garmin, Golf GPS unit that was announced at a Golf convention.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

  • January 31, 2007

    Clear Channel and Inrix Greatly Expand TMC Traffic Coverage

    Inrix is on the move again, and they have announced that their traffic flow data based on the Dust Network is again expanding and that this expanded traffic data along with other flow data will be sent to us via TMC traffic by Clear Channel by the end of the first quarter 2007.

    If you are already getting TMC traffic, what do you have to do to get the extra coverage of 50,000 miles of roads with traffic flow data up from about 5,000 miles? Nothing. After significant quality testing, that included teams driving routes in numerous metro areas to assure accuracy, Clear Channel is going to "turn on" the data transmission of the extra miles of roads by the end of the first quarter in 2007. This upgrade, if you will, covers 92 metro areas, including new coverage in 13 new traffic flow markets, including, St. Louis and Kansas City , Missouri ; Dayton , Ohio ; Manchester , New Hampshire ; Bakersfield , California ; and others.

    Recall that there can be road coverage by incident data only (alerts you when a car is broken down or the road is under construction), which does not alert you to the traffic flow on that road. Traffic flow data alerts you, usually in color coding, that the traffic is moving quickly (green), not so good (yellow), or almost stopped (red). This is the stuff that good feedback is made of, and that's why this traffic flow announcement of a 10 fold increase in coverage is a major plus for you and me (as long as you have a traffic enabled GPS).

    There's another significant development here that I will explore further tomorrow, and that's the announcement that Inrix now has accumulated over 1 million miles of historical average speeds for roads across the US; that's basically every interstate down to state highways and major commuting roads. Come back tomorrow and I'll talk about where the future of traffic reporting is going.

    There are two separate press releases below that talk about the increased reach of traffic flow reporting and the Clear Channel agreement that allows you to get access to all of that data and information.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Clear Channel and Inrix Greatly Expand TMC Traffic Coverage"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 31, 2007

    NAVTEQ Reaches New Milestone in Western Europe


    NAVTEQ announces a big milestone in Western Europe, as they have achieved "100% Detailed coverage" which to them means detailed coverage and verification of all roads in the road network. I have to say that this must be no small task; having driven some of the roads over there, I thought the cow paths around New England were confusing.... wow, there are some decent knots to work out in mapping Western European roads that may have been around for several hundred years. I would imagine with all of the activity in Western Europe for them, that they are stepping up the battle for European contracts vs. TeleAtlas.

    “Customers tell us that map accuracy is the most important criteria when selecting map data,” stated Mary Hardwick, Vice President of Product Management for NAVTEQ. “And complete Detailed Coverage represents the highest real-world accuracy available from NAVTEQ. Additionally, developing the database to a single data specification across all Western Europe countries affords our customers the efficiency to provide pan-regional solutions.”

    Press release follows...

    ArrowContinue reading: "NAVTEQ Reaches New Milestone in Western Europe"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 31, 2007

    SiRF Earnings- Down on Charges

    SiRF earnings are in and they slipped 11% over last year, largely as a result of stock related compensation. News came out after the close of the market yesterday, and apparently Wall St. liked the news because earnings were higher than expected. Beyond the strong GPS navigation system market, the company talked that it sees a lot of activity in the mobile phone and location based services area, and listed a long set of developments in the area. This lines up with a recent conversation of mine with an industry insider who is also in a supplier position for these services. Should be an interesting market to watch as more people learn about GPS's, and learn that there are navigation services right on their GPS enabled mobile phone.

    Sales were $74.2 million, up 37% from $54.3 million year ago. Net was $9.1 million down from $10.2 million, year ago. Without the stock compensation issues, the net would have been $15.7 million... too bad, that would have been a nice 50% growth in profit!

    More at SiRF

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 30, 2007

    Mio C310X - $199 at Circuit City

    Circuit City just posted a new lower price on the Mio C310x - $199 with free shipping. This seems to be a pretty good price point that will be hit here or there for a while - (Fry's has it for $198) Over at the Fat Wallet forums, they talk about going into the store where it is priced a lot higher, and getting a Price Match down to the CircuitCity.com price. Also some good discussions on the deal at BensBargains.

    If you want more info, read my review of the Mio C310x.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Review Via Michelin X-980


    The Via Michelin X-980 is widely thought to be coming to the US sometime, and it sells in Europe, where it is the top of the Via Michelin line. What makes this unit interesting is the fact that it comes with content from the Michelin Travel Guides, more widely known in Europe, but still a great information source for the US too.

    The unit has Bluetooth Handsfree capability, a SiRF star III chipset, and a 4.3 inch widescreen formatted touchscreen.

    The Via Michelin X-980 was briefly reviewed in a UK online journal, VNUNet and they applaud the unit for its travel guide content and integration of traffic capabilities, but poke at the usability of the interface.

    ReadMore at VNUNet

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Garmin and the Super Bowl Ad

    Garmin sure seems to be having a lot of fun these days with their Super Bowl commercial where they created the super hero Garmin Man to defeat the evil Maposaurus as it tries in vane to take over at least one car in the world.

    They have a behind the scenes interview up with Garmin Man, and have put up a MySpace page for the man in silver tights.

    Definitely have to laugh at the whole thing, as it's a total over-the-top rip on all of the goofy sci-fi movies that are just fun to watch. Looking forward to that ad.... with somewhere around 90+ million Americans watching the Super Bowl, and 30% of households saying that they have or want to buy a GPS this year, this might just pay out too.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Global Locate Countersues SiRF - Baseless Claims

    So you thought a Garmin v. TomTom suit was nasty; well check out this little rumble between rival GPS chip makers SiRF ad Global Locate.

    The short story is this:
    1. Word gets out that Global Locate gets big TomTom Deal - ousting SiRF
    2. SiRF stock drops 10% - Dec 14th
    3. SiRF Sues Global Locate - Dec 18th
    4. Global Locate Sues SiRF - Jan 8th
    5. Global Locate says #3 above is "Sham" suit - Today
    6. Lawyers get big payday

    (Whoops - #6 might not have happened yet.)

    So it appears that Global Locate now believes that the December suit by SiRF was hastily prepared and launched more as a PR campaign to buoy their stock than a well thought out patent infringement suit. Good luck on this one; I am sure there will be more news on this later...

    More news below....

    ArrowContinue reading: "Global Locate Countersues SiRF - Baseless Claims"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 29, 2007

    TomTom 910's with a Virus?


    Several websites are reporting that some TomTom 910's that were shipped at the end of the year last year shipped with Trojan Horse viruses hidden on its hard drive (win32.Perlovga.A Trojan and TR/Drop.Small.qp). "It has been confirmed that a small number of TomTom GO 910 devices, produced between September and November 2006, and shipped with software version 6.51, may be infected with a virus." So, if you happened to get one of these infected GPS units as a present and plugged it into your computer, you might have set off your anti-virus software. Always disappointing when something like this happens, and TomTom is saying that they are taking steps to prevent this in the future.

    UPDATE: Around the time the story hit the web in full force, TomTom put out a statement confirming the virus, saying that the issue was limited to a week's worth of TomTom 910 production. They also added that any anti-virus software program would have caught and killed the infection. - this Via Reuters

    Read a lot More at Daniweb

    Via Engadget

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 26, 2007

    GPS Steals and Deals - 1/26

    A quick look back this week:

  • I posted my Nuvi 680 Review yesterday.
  • Garmin got some news out on their Superbowl Ad - Over the top fun.
  • I also posted my review of the Bushnell NAV-500
  • Reviews from others: Navman N60i Review (PCMag) and the DeLorme PN-20 Review from GPSReview

    Steals and Deals

    Coming into marathon training season, we see a $50 Rebate for the Garmin Forerunner 205 and 305's coming out this week. We also continue to see some rock bottom bargains on the Mio C310x and the Via Michelin X-930. Sales on the Nuvi line and TomTom's must be coming along as they hold onto discounts we saw over the holidays.

    Fry's is still selling the Mio C310x systems: $198 with free shipping. Staples also has them for $229 online and in stores. - Check out my review of the Mio C310x.

    Garmin Forerunner Rebate - $50 back on a Forerunner 205 or 305, which drops the prices down significantly.

    The Nuvi 350 - Best Selling GPS at Amazon - Nuvi's are selling hard with the recent price drops, Flat is in and these prices are way down from a few weeks ago:

  • Garmin Nuvi 350– recent price drops put it around $470.

  • Garmin Nuvi 360 is now around $540; a few months ago this was well over $600.

    Other GPS's. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Garmin Nuvi 660 - Price hovering around $735 or so at Amazon, Very dynamic. See our review - Also check out the GPSNow site for what has been often a lower price ($729 this morning), and Order by 5PM weekdays, you get same day cheap shipping.

  • TomTom ONE for around $380 at Amazon with Free shipping. Also for $340 plus shipping at TheNerds. See my Review of the TomTom ONE.

  • The TomTom 910 has come down A LOT in the last few months, and is about $540 for this widescreened unit. Great if you have a Bluetooth phone and can use the TomTom PLUS system for weather, traffic (with subscription) and more.

  • Garmin StreetPilot C330 – Now below $320 for this very capable, maps pre-loaded device.
  • Garmin StreetPilot C340 – Think about moving up to the Garmin StreetPilot C530 whose price is down to $399. Won't speak street names, but Better chipset, and better screen for almost the same price ($10 more).

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Sony Kills the NAV U80 and 81T Plans

    News is coming out that Sony is putting on hold their higher end NAV-U80 and U81T that were to be widescreened units holding down the top of their GPS line. They announced the line expansion last year, with plans to have the models in the market quickly. Things didn’t go so well for them with the original launch of the NAV-U70, as the sales seemed to disappoint. Philips recently announced that they are backing off from the GPS market, and canceling plans as a result of margin erosion and tough competition. One has to think that with Garmin and TomTom locking up distribution outlets for the higher end devices, it would be hard to get a toehold for your expanded line, even with the GPS category expanding at breakneck speeds. Success has been seen by companies willing to discount their way into the market, like Mio’s huge splash over the holiday’s last year. They are firmly in people’s minds as a result.

    Anyway, apparently Sony is still looking at launching the NAV U51 and U71T, the follow-up to their first entry.

    ReadMore at YourNav

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Mio Business Set to Double in 2007

    There's an interesting little business article coming out of the Taipei Times on Mio that says they expect to double production in 2007 behind strong global sales of both their stand alone GPS units as well as their PDA's with navigation onboard. The article also mentions that Mio plans on offering in Taiwan a new free service that will include real-time weather, parking space availability and traffic conditions. In global corporations, re-application of technology is the key to success, and one has to wonder if they plan on some similar "connected" services here in the US in a broader way beyond the TMC traffic in the current Mio C710 unit. Maybe in their previously announced Mio C520 system expected out later this year? Ahhh, we'll see.

    ReadMore at Taipei Times

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    FineDrive M300


    The new FineDrive M300 is a light and slim (0.68 inches deep) little GPS from Fine Digital. The unit comes equipped with pre-loaded NAVTEQ maps of North America, and about 1.5+ million Points of Interest. The unit has a 3.5-inch touchscreen, and offers an MP3 player, although the music can only be played when the GPS is not in use. I’ve seen a couple of these, and a lot of times this is a result of the fact that the maps are on the SD card, and in the SD card slot that you need access to in order to load the music.

    More at Amazon and FineDigital

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    January 25, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 680 Full Review


    -A Hands on Review by GPSLodge-

    The recently announced Garmin Nuvi 680 is a widescreen, bright, flat form factor GPS system that is based on one of the best GPS units out there, if not the best, the Nuvi 660. The key difference is that the Nuvi 680 has the capability to get information updates from the MSN Direct service that provides data feeds over the FM band in many major cities across the US.

    "Having the MSN Direct Service onboard the Nuvi 680 is a great addition to an already excellent navigator."
    While these data feeds can be seen in gizmos like this Melitta Coffee Maker, these feeds can also be seen in other useful places like on a GPS on my dashboard! (Let's face it the Melitta wouldn't fit on the dashboard anyway.) For the Nuvi 680, it has the ability to pull down information about weather, movies, traffic and gas prices.

    For a full list of my own Full Reviews of GPS units; Click - GPSLodge.com Hands On Reviews

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Nuvi 680 Full Review"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (23) | social bookmarking

    GolfLogix & Garmin - Golf GPS


    GolfLigix announced a new product, or rather application that will use the Garmin eTrex handheld GPS to get into the growing golf GPS category. The proprietary software will be installed on the eTrex and will allow users to download course data to the unit easily and quickly. The software will offer the golfer some features that will make using the handheld easier during play like automatic scrolling to the next hazard or green and no buttons to push during play. Because it’s an eTrex, you know it will be IPX7 waterproof for the next time you get caught in the rain.

    No word on what eTrex model the product is based on yet. It will be shown at the upcoming PGA merchandise show, and list for $349. Unlimited golf course downloads are available for $29 per year.

    More at GolfLogix

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (7) | social bookmarking

    January 24, 2007

    Garmin Training Center for the Mac - Now Available

    Garmin Training center for the Mac is now available. Man, new $50 rebate on the Forerunner 205 and 305, Mac compatible Training Center all in one day; must be a sign that I need to go out for a run.

    It's been about a year since Garmin made the orignal announcement that they were going to produce software for the Mac, and after a few false starts, here's a nice chunck of software. There are a few things you will need to do if you are migrating from a PC platform, so check out this post at Motion Based for some info.

    Download Training Center
    at the Garmin website

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Navman N60i Review

    PC Mag has a good review up of the Navman N60i GPS system that joins the widescreen set of GPS systems, and comes equipped with the SiRF star III chipset for fast start-up times and solid locks on satellite signals. The unit comes pre-loaded with North American maps on solid-state memory, and has an internal battery for a few hours of unplugged navigation. The unit is not Test to Speech (TTS) capable, but does offer voice guidance.

    The big feature on the Navman higher end GPS systems like the N60i is the ability to take pictures, and load them in as placemarks for points of interest or locations. The N60i comes with a camera, and the ability to geotag pictures with the location you took them. You can then scroll through pictures, tap the ones that are geotagged and navigate back to that place. This feature first came out on the Navman iCN 760 and is now transferred to the slimmer better looking sibling the N60i.

    Craig Ellison says, “Overall, the Navman N60i represents a significant improvement over the iCN 750. It has a better, lighter form factor, a larger, better screen, an extended battery life, and a lower price. Though I don't find NavPix compelling, it's a nice feature and, at the lower price, doesn't represent a significant premium.”

    For his full take on the Navman N60i head on over to PC Mag.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    DeLorme PN-20 Handheld Review

    The DeLorme handheld PN-20 GPS was recently announced and released (see our announcement and product overview), which marked another step in handheld GPS evolution. Both Bushnell and DeLorme are breaking new ground with the advent of downloadable aerial and satellite photos onto handheld GPS devices to be used as overlays on top of base maps or TOPO maps that are already in the based system. The PN-20 from DeLorme is a new entry that appears to be hitting the mark with a lot of nice features and for the most part, well-implemented capabilities to allow you a richer experience as a result of this realistic birds eye view. The download process is simple and you can gather only the images that you need for a very specific outing (they can get expensive), load them on the PN-20 and go.

    ArrowContinue reading: "DeLorme PN-20 Handheld Review"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    What is Text to Speech on a GPS and is it Worth it?

    A lot of readers have been asking about what Text to Speech or TTS is and why it's a good thing on a GPS. As more and more people are considering getting a GPS, the emails are piling up on this subject of Text to speech. Right now, Text to speech is available on many mid to high end GPS units, and it simply uses a voice engine to generate speech based on the text that needs "reading", so it will tell you "Turn right on Maple Street in 400 yards" instead of just "Turn right in 400 yards." It does well on many "normal" words that are easier to predict what they should sound like, but there are some names that are farther afield, and the units sometimes have a tough time with those words; understandable, but not perfect.

    It is certainly a big help when navigating, and its worth paying more money for if its in your price range. Text to speech is particularly helpful when you are navigating in a denser area where there are a lot of streets and the added assurance of the spoken street name helps you pick which street to turn onto. I think that it's also a big advantage for older drivers who find it important to concentrate on the road more, and the spoken word road specific directions are a big advantage.

    See a related article: Garmin C340, C550 stopped announcing Street Names?

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Review: Bushnell NAV-500 Review by GPSLodge

    I have been navigating around New England with the help of the Bushnell NAV 500, and it’s high time that I navigated to my computer to tell you about it. I’ve taken it on road trips over the holidays as well as some local shopping to fill the space under the now long gone Christmas Tree.

    The Bushnell Nav500 is solidly in the mid-tier for GPS navigation units, and comes with a 3.5-inch touchscreen, pre-loaded maps of North America, and is driven by the SiRF star III chipset. The unit offers turn-by-turn spoken directions, but not text to speech directions that tell you the name of the street to turn onto. The unit comes with its entire back clad in nicely rubberized for a high quality feel that also inspires a bit of confidence when handling it. The feel is solid throughout, and the unit is well built. The underlying software is from Smart2Go, which is based in Europe, and has a little Americanization to be done to make it feel like it’s, mine, but otherwise the unit is good.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Review: Bushnell NAV-500 Review by GPSLodge"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    Compare Garmin Forerunner 101 vs 201 vs 301 vs 205 vs 305

    While it may be the dead of winter, it is also the start of marathon training for a lot of people who are getting into Spring and early marathons, like the Boston or maybe the Pig. Well, I have had some readers write in asking more about the Forerunner series and what the differences are between the models.

    Garmin opened up the GPS fitness market a few years back with the introduction of the Forerunner 101/201/301 series. These were obviously successful, and user feedback sparked a redesign to what is now a very popular series, the Forerunner 205/305 series. In a parallel development they also designed the bikers version of the Forerunner; the Garmin Edge 205 and 305 group.

    Rebate: From Now through May 15, 2007 there is a $50 rebate on the Forerunner 205 and 305. - ReadMore

    ArrowContinue reading: "Compare Garmin Forerunner 101 vs 201 vs 301 vs 205 vs 305"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Super Bowl Ad


    Update: See a video of the Ad at this post.

    Also see My Review of the New Garmin Nuvi 680 and My Review of the Garmin Nuvi 660 which was featured in the Garmin Super Bowl Ad. Finally, want to win a Garmin Nuvi 660? ReadMore about how to win.

    Original Post Follows:

    Garmin has put out more information on its upcoming Super Bowl ad, citing that it is a humorous take off on a 1960's sci-fi piece. From the description this should be a n over-the-top kind of fun commercial to watch, as it features a Nuvi turning into a super hero and taking out an evil villain. Obviously not the ad they are talking up over at the Garmin Blogs, as I skeptically hypothesized yesterday. More below from Garmin's release today:

    The theme of the commercial is "Grab your Garmin, Take on the World" - demonstrating how Garmin personal navigation devices can save the everyday consumer time, money, and hassles. Taken to the extreme, the commercial is a humorous 1960s-style sci-fi piece. The commercial's quirky low-tech production treatment is in playful contrast to Garmin's cutting edge GPS technology and other advertisers' use of complex computer effects.

    Update: See their Music Video that they put together with some of the extra footage. You Tube Video after the jump...

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Super Bowl Ad"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Forerunner 205 & 305 - $50 Rebate


    Garmin posted a $50 rebate today on their uber-trainer Forerunner 205 and Forerunner 305 GPS devices. The wrist mounted training aids are able to track where you go including a lot of aspects about your workout: pace, speed, time, calories burned, and in the case of the Forerunner 305, your heart rate due to the included heart rate monitor strap.

    Garmin also recently announced a new quick release strap for the unit that allows a fast change over from the wrist strap to a handlebar mount. There are a lot of multi-sport users out there who are screaming "Thank you!" For those of you who are Mac users, Garmin's software companion, Training Center, is also coming soon for download; it was available in an English only version at Macworld. This all adds up to a pretty good deal on the Forerunners - Great fitness tracking, software support for the Mac and easy switching from wrist mounted to your bike.....

    We had the opportunity to use the Forerunner 205 - read my review of the Forerunner 205, and an update with more user thoughts and comments.

    The Rebate is effective today and runs through May 15, 2007.

    Download Rebate Form (PDF)

    Via and Via

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 23, 2007

    GPS Adoption to Grow, Just Say "NO" to Ads!

    According to a recent study prepared for Marketing Daily, 30% of American households either have a GPS or plan on getting one in the next year. No wonder why the world of consumer electronics manufacturers are clamoring to get into the market. The study is also reporting that the more income you have, the higher the likelihood that you already have your GPS; saying that 1 in 5 households with income over $75,000 have a GPS, while only 3% of those who earn less than $25,000 have one.

    Apparently safety is a big selling point for people who are buying GPS systems, and in my mind, can be one of those planks of advertising to convince potential users to buy them. People are certainly feeling calmer and more in control as a result of the units, with almost 40% of GPS users saying that they are less frustrated as a result of using their GPS.

    No to Advertising on my GPS!
    A whopping 75% of respondents said that they would hat it if they received unsolicited advertisements on their GPS. Seems like a thin line there between advocacy for a place to eat or entertainment, and advertising it. We are already seeing the ground being laid for branded icons on national outlets. So you might see the golden arches of McDonald’s instead of just a generic restaurant icon. With the recent introduction of gasoline price information on the Garmin Nuvi 680 and the StreetPilot 580, one has to wonder if streamed information about other outlets isn’t close behind. It will be interesting to see how manufacturers approach this thin line between information and advertising as the lure of location based ad revenue grows bigger and bigger.

    Read More stats and facts at Marketing Daily

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin to Show Super Bowl Ad

    In a bullish move Garmin is set to show their first Super Bowl ad, sometime in the second quarter. The spots are going for big money, exactly what, I don’t know. I have to admit that I am sad that the New England Patriots aren’t going to the big game (I live near Boston), but with an outing like the Colts had last Sunday they deserve to step up to the Super Bowl.

    The Garmin Blog has been running a series of posts about an ad shoot that is going on, and one has to wonder if this is the Super Bowl ad that is being put to film right now. I know that you can work wonders when you really have to, but can you crank out a commercial in two weeks’ time? Especially one that will cost so much money to air the very first time?

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    January 22, 2007

    Vandalize your Boss' House? Turn off the GPS!

    In what appears to be another “GPS as a witness” missteps, an employee in Wisconsin recently vandalized his boss’ house by allegedly pouring a bucket of tar on his front porch before quickly driving away, apparently undetected. Unfortunately for him, the van he was driving was a company van that was equipped with a GPS transponder, just like the rest of the company vehicles. The GPS information led the police to the arrest.

    ReadMore at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    GPS Illegal in Switzerland?

    The Swiss authorities are apparently enforcing a law that makes it illegal to use any device that warns about safety/speeding cameras, either fixed or mobile. Apparently authorities are on the lookout for people using devices that have the ability to store the locations of GPS units that can alert drivers to the location of such cameras (which are most GPS units in Europe), and they are confiscating them. Unfortunately they are destroying them and fining the drivers. This sounds a lot like the stories of police here in the US confiscating radar detectors in states where they are illegal and stomping on them in front of the drivers who own them. OUCH!

    The situation in Switzerland is being clarified, but it appears that devices that can be used to identify the locations of speed cameras in Switzerland are illegal to use or to be sold. This could really cause an issue for people traveling through there on vacation. Where exactly is the line drawn? Cable of warning speed cameras, but not actually loaded with Swiss cameras, is that OK? Try explaining that to the officer in another language.

    More information on this at YourNav

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 20, 2007

    GPS Steals and Deals - 1/20/07

    I'm pretty happy to see prices staying down after the holiday discounting for those of us who didn't get exactly what we wanted; now's the chance to jump on that new GPS.

    Some nice and unexpected news is that Fry's is back selling cheap Mio C310x systems; they aren't cheap, but the price is: $198 with free shipping. - Check out my review of the Mio C310x.

    The other low priced unit that hit radar screen this week is the Via Michelin X930. There are some mixed reviews on the unit; so read up on it. If you decide that it's for you, the price is right: Via Michelin X930 - $199 at Amazon.

    The Nuvi 350 - Best Selling GPS at Amazon - Nuvi's are selling hard with the recent price drops, Flat is in and these prices are way down from a few weeks ago:

  • Garmin Nuvi 350– recent price drops put it around $470; Down $200 in a couple of months.

  • Garmin Nuvi 360 is now around $540; a few months ago this was well over $600.

    Other Deals on GPS's. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Garmin Nuvi 660 - Price hovering around $735 or so at Amazon, Very dynamic. Anything under $760 is a good price. See our review - Also check out the GPSNow site for what has been often a lower price ($729 this morning), and Order by 5PM weekdays, you get same day cheap shipping.

  • Garmin StreetPilot C330 – Now below $325 for this very capable, maps pre-loaded device. Last year this was selling for the mid-to upper $400’s.
  • Garmin StreetPilot C340 – Think about moving up to the Garmin C530 whose price is down to $399. Better chipset, and better screen for about the same price ($10 more).

  • TomTom ONE for $380 at Amazon with Free shipping.
  • TomTom ONE for $330, plus shipping at TheNerds. See our Review of the TomTom ONE.

  • The TomTom 910 has come down A LOT in the last few months, and is about $540 for this widescreened unit. Great if you have a Bluetooth phone and can use the TomTom PLUS system for weather, traffic (with subscription) and more.

    ArrowContinue reading: "GPS Steals and Deals - 1/20/07"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • January 19, 2007

    Stolen GPS Devices Call Police - Three Arrested

    Whoops - three were arrested in NY when the GPS units that they allegedly stole notified police of their whereabouts. Apparently the GPS units were part of the DPW plan to track and monitor Snow Plows and other municipal vehicles in the area, and looked like mobile phones. When the town reached out to their GPS units, they found them and when the police arrived, they said that 46-year-old Kurt Husfeldt was holding the device. His 13 year old son and another man were also arrested.


    Update: This also landed on the Morning Edition at NPR - go there to listen.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Forerunner 205 305 Quick Release Strap

    ForerunnerBikeClip.jpgWe posted the announcement that Garmin is coming out with a better mount for its Forerunner 205 and 305 units recently, and now Motionbased (owned by Garmin) has a nice post about how the mount will work. The wrist strap will have a snap in base for the Forerunner 205 or 305 that will allow for a quick release. The Forerunner can then quickly snap onto a bike handlebar mount for a fast transition or just an easier way to track both biking and running workouts.

    See the quick release Wrist Strap in action after the jump…

    More at Motionbased

    ArrowContinue reading: "Forerunner 205 305 Quick Release Strap"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

    WalMart stopping GPS Sales?


    So a lot of shoppers noticed that WalMart was one of the lowest priced outlets for GPS systems this past holiday season, but did you know that 40% of them will be returned? According to Digitimes, WalMart is considering dropping GPS units from its inventory due to the large number of returns on the units. They cite that while 25% of GPS units are returned nationally, a greater proportion (40%) are returned at WalMart therefore making it unprofitable. This number is much higher than other consumer electronics categories.

    Apparently other outlets like Best Buy and Circuit City are starting to limit the return period to 14 days after purchase instead of the usual 30 days. It will be interesting to see what happens, as Digitimes often has the scoop on things going on in the GPS world.

    ReadMore at Digitimes

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    New Sure Shot Golf GPS

    The Sure Shot GPS Golf course device is getting an upgrade in the near future. At the upcoming PGA show in Orlando they will introduce an upgraded Sure Shot GPS system that will include several enhancements to make the product a lot better to use. The device can help golfers estimate distances while on golf courses thus making their game better….. their game, probably not mine. Anyway, the newer units have: a next generation GPS chipset, a brighter screen, better battery life (lasts 13 hours or 2 rounds of golf), and will be WAAS compliant. With the $399 list price, you get a year’s subscription to golf courses around the world, so that your unit is ready to go when you are.

    More at Sure Shot

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 18, 2007

    Garmin: Company Background and Success Story


    There's a stunning article about Garmin coming out of US News and World Report that walks you through their business. It details how they keep costs down and maintain their market share of 50+% in the US despite attracting huge electronics competition to the high margined growing GPS market (Think LG, Sony, Pioneer, Philips....). They are cheap and manufacture things quickly through a mainly in-house program of design, manufacture and deliver (except apparently the aviation line). Some execs fly on Southwest airlines even, saving money the smart way. What do they do with that savings? Plow it relentlessly into design and marketing to keep ahead of competition. It's a good profile of what's happened. There are new challenges everyday though....

    ReadMore at US News

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi 680 arrives for Review

    The Garmin Nuvi 680 was announced for last week's CES 2007 show, where it was one of the most talked about GPS units due to its MSN Direct connectivity. The Nuvi 680 is based on the Nuvi 660 platform - super bright widescreen, thin form, and solid navigation (See our review of the Nuvi 660). The MSN direct capability connects the unit to FM data feeds sent out with four core features that you can receive on the Nuvi 680: Weather, traffic, gas pricing and movies. True to form, Garmin has integrated the features into the existing interface so that is easily recognizable.

    In a quick look at it, there are a few changes that tip you off that this is is different, as it has the little MSN butterfly on the main menu page as well as a temp reading in the top menu bar. So, I am off to but some gas and maybe check out the movies; I hope the traffic isn't bad on the way; but I guess the Nuvi 680 will tell me if it is.

    UPDATE: I have posted my Review of the Nuvi 680

    (what's in the box after the jump...)

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Nuvi 680 arrives for Review"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    HP RX 5915


    We first heard about the HP RX5915 back in September of last year, and the unit is becoming pretty popular. As the Garmin Nuvi line steps towards information tablet status with travel guides, etc. and other GPS units like the Mio H610 add contact managers, and a lot of other travel friendly applications, the HP approach is to add the GPS right in on top of a very capable PDA. Not the first time we've seen it, but certainly a nice execution. SiRF star III GPS Chipset, integrated WiFi and Bluetooth, sitting on top of a Win Mobile 5.0 platform.

    more info at Amazon. and HP

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Suunto GPS POD


    Suunto has a tagline; "Replacing Luck", and as luck would have it, reader Joost sent this one in - The Suunto GPS Pod a GPS receiver for all of your outdoor activities. It will track speed and distance. The GPS Pod is an accessory for Suunto's wrist mounted training watches/computers and it will add the distance and speed functions to your data capture. The unit uses ANT wireless technology that is also used in the Garmin Forerunner series to transmit between the separate modules.

    The Suunto GPS Pod is only a couple of inches in diameter, about 3 ounces with batteries and is water resistant to IPX7 standards. When used with the Suunto t6 for example the unit can record data and then transfer the data to your computer for analysis with the free Suunto Training manager. I should mention that the Suunto t6 has a couple of innovative training measurements that at least on the surface look like they can really help training. They appear to be able to get you to VO2max and EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption), which were previously only done through lab testing. While they back into the numbers deriving it through heart rate; it certainly looks cool.

    More at Suunto

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 17, 2007

    Mio C310x Price Break - $198 at Fry’s

    Looks like we caught a break in the New Year, Fry’s has dropped the price on the Mio C310x to $198, and has Free Shipping. Not sure how long this will last, as they seem to move the price around on this. First introduced to the masses on Black Friday last year, the Mio C310x has become a fairly well known little GPS. Capable and sure-footed, this little unit has a lot going for it despite its low price. There are a few quirks; it’s not perfect. Main issues are maps and some routing oddities. Mio is working hard to solve both of these issues with a Map update soon, and they are fixing routing issues on the fly. More information:

  • My Review of the Mio C310x
  • News on Map updates
  • New on Washington DC routing issues patch

    Thanks to reader Vu who sent this in.

    Mio C310x at Fry's for $198

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • GPS Use: Losing our Ability to Read Maps?

    A recent article in the Times Online posed the question; Are GPS units and Sat-Nav's ruining our ability to read maps? This will be interesting to see how it plays out. I mean as young kids grow up around personal navigation systems, will they never learn how to read a map? The Times has a good quote on potential skill loss:

    Rita Gardner, president of the Royal Geographical Society, said: “I firmly believe that sat-navs are depriving us of our ability to read maps. This is a terrible thing because maps are more than pieces of paper that tell us how to get from A to B. They have so much extra that can benefit us.”

    I wonder if people said that during the transition from the horse drawn wagon to the automobile, "People are losing their ability to take care of a horse and drive a wagon. The critical skills of cleaning a stall, harnessing a horse and properly using a whip are being lost in this horseless carriage era."

    Personally, I don't think my map reading skills have fallen off in the few years I have been using a GPS, but my sense of direction and space has.

    Sense of Direction
    As I have blindly followed GPS systems to my destination and back, I cede almost all control of my navigation over to the unit. If the thing ever dies while I was at a destination, I might never be able to get back because I haven't noted how to get there; relying solely on the GPS to get me back. This mental holiday is fine most of the time, because it wouldn't be hard to find a known highway and get home.

    Redundant Systems in the Woods
    This is NOT the case when I am out navigating in the woods, on either a short day hike or longer treks. By using a GPS I am actually MORE aware of where I am going, where I have been and what the landmarks are around me because I am looking at a 2-D rendering of my trek at least every few minutes. When I am outdoors and navigating I am very aware of the consequences of a broken GPS or dead batteries, so I am pretty cautious in these cases and have redundant systems. I would recommend that you are too.

    ReadMore at the Times Online

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Another GPS Tracking Device, Another Bomb Scare

    Seems like this is going to become more common as GPS tracking devices become more popular; apparently yesterday yet another GPS tracking device was mistaken for a bomb and the bomb squad came out to defuse the situation, only to confirm that the unit was a GPS tracking device. The Private Investigator had already come forward and said that he was tracking the person who owned the truck it was attached to. We’ve seen this tracking device bomb scare thing before, when a man was tracking his wife, as well as a Geocache being mistaken for a bomb too.


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 16, 2007

    Via Michelin X-930: $199 at Amazon


    So the Via Michelin X930 has come to the US in a big way. It showed up over the holidays at J&R music but is now shipping at Amazon. The unit is the first in what I expect to be many Via Michelin units hitting the US shores. The US market is growing fast for GPS systems, and there are still millions of people who don't have them, so it makes for a fertile market.

    The Via Michelin X930 is powered by the SiRF star III chipset, a 3.5 inch screen, and has the 48 continental US states pre-loaded. The one review up on Amazon rates it well, but a recent review of the Via Michelin X-930 from the UK is scathing. The issues were all in navigation, which may have to do with the UK implementation, or it may have to do with the underlying navigation engine. ZDNet (UK) has a better point of view in their review of the X930, giving it 4 of 5 stars. We'll see as more people in the US take a look at it.

    More at Amazon

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    NAVTEQ MapReporter - Map Change Requests

    NAVTEQ has officially announced their re-designed MapReporter program that we talked about back on January 2nd, thanks to the tip from a GPSLodge reader who turned us onto the news. The program seeks to make you the citizen map makers and have you report on mapping errors and changes to help them update their data sets. The program follows the start of a similar program, called Map Insight, last year from rival map maker TeleAtlas. When I talked with TeleAtlas in December, they said that they have millions of changes each month to their data sets, but only a small fraction are coming from their MapInsight program. I still have faith in these systems because the most nagging issues might just be that hard to find problem with a major intersection that was just re-designed and the mapping companies aren't aware of it. I think it's a great move for both of them.

    Press Release Follows...

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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi: Compare the Nuvi 350 vs. 360 vs. 370 vs. 660 vs. 670 vs. 680

    So a lot of readers are interested in the Garmin Nuvi, and asking what's right for them. "Should I get the Nuvi 350?" "What's the advantage of the Nuvi 360?" "What's the difference between the new Nuvi 680 and the Nuvi 660?" "Is the Nuvi 660 the best GPS for me?" Well, let's look at a quick review of the capabilities of the North American models of the Garmin Nuvi.

    First a little background: The Garmin Nuvi was launched with the Nuvi 350 as a travel companion, most likely figuring that only a business traveler would pay the $900 for the flat pocketable model. Well, a year later, Flat is in, the Nuvi has dropped significantly in price, and the idea that these are for travelers alone, is absurd. Anyone who owns a GPS would benefit from the flat form factor.

    The Nuvi 660 was launched in the late summer of 2006, and as their first widescreened GPS, it got some pretty good reviews; mine included.

    The Nuvi 370, 670 and nuvi 680 were recently announced at CES 2007, with added capabilities, the most noteable being the MSN Direct connectedness for the Nuvi 680.

    Jan 17th Update: We have the Garmin Nuvi 680 in for review.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Nuvi: Compare the Nuvi 350 vs. 360 vs. 370 vs. 660 vs. 670 vs. 680"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    January 15, 2007

    CSR Buys GPS Capability - GPS Chips less than a $1

    A company called CSR out of the UK has made a major move into the market for GPS (global positioning system) technology with the acquisition of two firms - Cambridge Positioning Systems and NordNav Technologies. CSR spent over $75million on the two firms to bring together Bluetooth and GPS technology onto one chip.

    Now the particulars aren’t terribly interesting, but the fact of the matter is that CSR is going to be developing more sensitive GPS chips than we’ve seen so far and integrating them with Bluetooth to make for some small, cheap chips that will find their way into a lot of electronics (read mobile phones, laptops, and anything else with data storage, or a network connection and a screen).

    "CSR’s acquired patented GPS solution is a software-based architecture that allows an incremental price that falls to less than $1 of the overall bill-of-materials when used with CSR’s Bluetooth technology," said CSR.

    ArrowContinue reading: "CSR Buys GPS Capability - GPS Chips less than a $1"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    SMS Text Messages through you GPS

    Did you know that you could have your Garmin Test to Speech GPS read you your Text Messages? Well with a recent firmware update the StreetPilot C550, Nuvi 360 and Nuvi 660 can. These are the Bluetooth connected units that can act as a handsfree device for your mobile phone. These units will also be able to send SMS messages through your Bluetooth connected phones.

    So, update that Firmware! More at Garmin

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 14, 2007

    New GPS at CES 2007; Awards and Wrap-up

    CES GPS Award Winners

    With GPS systems going mainstream, this year's CES was destined to be bigger than last year's for shear number of announcements, and without a doubt it was. Let's take a look.

    Dash navigation won awards for their Dash Express GPS with WiFi and Cellular onboard radios. Garmin has caught the fever too with its Garmin Nuvi 680 and Garmin StreetPilot 580 GPS units that come connected to the MSN Direct system via SPOT technology.

    Big Splash

  • Consumer Giant LG announced their intention to enter the US market with a line of four GPS units, the LN 790, LN 740, LN 735, and LN 730.
  • TomTom announced some innovations that are pretty exciting too: The Eclipse AVN2210P in dash car stereo replacement with pop out slim navigation device. TomTom also announced the ability to sell this type of built in capability to OEM car manufacturers starting this summer.
  • Well known Audiovox introduced three new GPS units under the Jensen name. The NVX1000, NVX406, and the NVX227 should hit the market this Spring.

    New Handhelds - Overlays are King
    Bushnell formally announced their ONIX 400CR, an XM Weather capable held that can overlay weather radar data on top of the map. Not to be outdone, DeLorme announced a new handheld, the DeLorme PN-20 that can do map overlays of aerial images, satellite shots (in color) as well as some very good Topo maps. "Where's Garmin?" you ask. Plenty of time for them to respond before summer.

    Thin is in

  • Mio pre-announced the Mio Digiwalker C520 and C250 GPS units that will hit the market later this year. Following their hit the Mio C310x, they are looking to move into a stronger position in the market with these thin and capable looking models. We'll get these in for review as soon as they are available.
  • The Porche designed P'9611 was introduced; thin and capable with pre-paid TMC traffic.
  • The Pocket LOOX N100 micro GPS was introduced to the US. This ultra portable GPS will compete with the Mio H610 unit.
  • Very thin, the Clifford Scout 420 is also a Sirius satellite radio conduit and all around media thingy resembling a Sony PSP. It will be interesting to watch this one to see how it does. Lots of capability, and it won an innovation award at CES 2007.

    Advanced Routing
    Pioneer AVIC-Z2 was announced. This in car stereo unit has a lot of media and GPS capabilities, including the ability to learn from you and what your favorite routes are. It will then take these roads into consideration when setting up navigation for you in the future.

    Interesting Line Extensions

  • Cobra dropped a couple of interesting units on the market with their Cobra Navone 2100, an in-expensive GPS and their NavOne 5000, which was pre-announced at the show to have a huge 5 inch touchscreen.
  • Garmin brought out some new units that have both North American and European maps pre-loaded for the jet setters: Garmin Nuvi 370, Garmin Nuvi 670.
  • Garmin announced the Zumo 450 a lower cost motorcycle unit that is capable of a lot out on the road.

    Big Shake-up?
    While not at the CES 2007 show, the Apple iPhone was announced last week, and we have to wonder what the GPS capabilities will be like. Of course it will have emergency location capabilities, but it has Google Maps, and one has to think that the folks at Cupertino are thinking ahead and noticing the booming navigation market. The market is set to explode on mobile phone based navigation systems, as more people have capable phones and as more carriers push the service (for extra fees and revenue). I can't imagine that the Apple and Cingular folks would leave this hole as a competitive disadvantage versus so much of the market. Cingular is already working with TeleNav on mobile phone based navigation, so we'll see on this one.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Via Michelin X930 Review


    Via Michelin is coming to the US with models in the wings showing up at the FCC, and the lower end Via Michelin X930 selling over the holidays for a low price. Don’t know how many were sold, but it sounds like this one has some troubles, at least with the European installation. The thin design is attractive, and so is the name; one recognized for quality. In a recent review that showed up at Pocket Link in the UK, things went horribly wrong for the reviewer. The unit couldn’t navigate to his home or his office…. Ouch!

    The unit seems impressive, thin, SiRF star III chipset, includes some Michelin guidebook information, etc.

    The comedy continues, with turn directions in the middle of the highway, and a confusing Points of Interest interface and you have a disaster.

    It’s worth a read. It’s easy to design a GPS, but it’s hard to design a good GPS. Proven again.

    Read Full Review at Pocket Lint

    Feb 7 Update: I have the Via Michelin X-930 in for review. I'll be posting my review in the in the next week or two.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Route 66 GPS: Chicago 9000 Review


    Route 66 announced a new line of very attractive GPS navigation systems back in September for the European market. The line is essentially based on a single chassis and moves you up from regional coverage, to Pan-Euro coverage while also adding the TMC traffic receiver to the higher end models as you climb the line. The design of the unit is very appealing, and is thin, thin, thin. Who wants bulky anyway?

    Well a nice review has hit the internet and taken a look at this Euro-only GPS that is curiously names Chicago? (Will they call it the Monacao when they launch it in the US?) The folks at YourNav have teamed up with a reader to write about this strong looking market entry from Route 66. They are reportedly using a widescreen that is similar to the Nuvi 660; big and bright. I like it already.

    The unit ships with an installed database of speed cameras that is fairly extensive but as these things change, you’ll want to keep the database updated. More important in Europe than in the US for now. Anyway, it sounds like Route 66 has a winner, as YourNav give it a thumbs up for its great screen, easy to understand directions and the included TMC traffic capability. I like the screen shots and the flexibility to put the data across the bottom of the screen or move it to the side of the big W-I-D-E screen.

    We'll have to keep an eye on Route 66. If things go well in Europe, look for a North American lauch too.

    Read the Full Reivew at YourNav

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Slope Tracker Ski tracking with a GPS

    Mentioned this before, but thought we would put this up for your consideration as the skiing season out west is on fire with all the snow. This program rents you a GPS for the day that you wear, and then at the end of the day they download the information and print out a map of your travels, including some key stats on your day. Of course you get to go up against their database of others to see how you compete in some areas like overall vertical covered, etc. On any given day you can track the number of runs, vertical feet, speed, calories burned, distance traveled and more via this GPS tracking system. At the end of the day they get a color print out detailing their accomplishments.

    You can use their GPS tracking service at these Ski areas:

  • Park City
  • Telluride
  • Copper Mountain
  • Winter Park
  • Keystone
  • Hafjell (Norway)

    The Slope Tracker costs about $20 a day, and gets you a fancy printout.

    ReadMore at SlopeTracker

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • January 12, 2007

    Garmin Training Center - Mac Compatible

    applelogo.pngGarmin has posted an update on their integration with Macs for their software. We've been waiting a long time, but applaud the work as they continue to make progress. Apparently at Macworld they are handing out advanced copies of their Training Center software that will be Mac compatible. If you didn't get to go to Macworld, you can always get your own copy later this month when they post it for download.

    Update: Go to the Garmin Blog Post and look at the comments for places you can acquire the software before it is posted by Garmin.

    Via Garmin Blog

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    GPS Steals and Deals - 1/12/06

    Well, it's the New Year, and a lot of deals have expired on GPS units after the big holiday season. That's the bad news, but the good news is that a lot of prices have come down and are stying down. The TomTom GiveGive program expired on 1/6, but prices at Amazon and others have stayed low.

    I would expect some decent prices from here on out on some of the older models as new GPS models have been announced this past week at CES 2007. So here's a rundown of popular models that are still at decent prices.

    The Nuvi 350 - Best Selling GPS at Amazon - Nuvi's are selling hard with the recent price drops, Flat is in and these prices are way down from a few weeks ago:

  • Garmin Nuvi 350– recent price drops put it around $470; Down $200 in a couple of months.

  • Garmin Nuvi 360 is now around $550; a few months ago this was well over $600.

    Mio C310x - The Cheap-O party is over, but a quick check on Circuit City shows this at $299. Know what you are buying - Check out our Review of the Mio C310x.

    Other Deals on GPS's. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Garmin Nuvi 660 - Price hovering around $735 or so at Amazon, Very dynamic. Anything under $760 is a good price. See our review - Also check out the GPSNow site for what has been often a lower price ($729 this morning), and Order by 5PM weekdays, you get same day cheap shipping.

  • Garmin StreetPilot C330 – Now below $325 for this very capable, maps pre-loaded device. Earlier this year this was selling for the mid-to upper $400’s.
  • Garmin StreetPilot C340 – Skip it and buy the Garmin C530 whose price is down to $399. Better chipset, and better screen for about the same price ($10 more).

  • TomTom ONE for $380 at Amazon with Free shipping.
  • TomTom ONE for $330, plus shipping at TheNerds. See our Review of the TomTom ONE.

  • The TomTom 910 has come down A LOT in the last few months, and is about $540 for this widescreened unit. Great if you have a Bluetooth phone and can use the TomTom PLUS system for weather, traffic (with subscription) and more.

    ArrowContinue reading: "GPS Steals and Deals - 1/12/06"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Dash Express GPS Awards at CES 2007


    Dash Navigation got a couple of honors this week at CES 2007; namely the "Best of CES" awards from both CNet and LAPTOP magazine for the internet connected Dash Express GPS. If you haven't heard of the Dash Express, it is a pretty advanced GPS that re-writes the way GPS systems navigate, as it uses its real-time connection via onboard cellular and WiFi radios to get constant traffic updates, and routes you not only based on current conditions but also historic traffic conditions. The connection also facilitates mapping updates and allows you to do contextual searching on data not just names of Points of Interest locations.

    “We believe the future of car navigation will be based on the core technologies being developed by the Dash team and these prestigious awards validate our approach,” said Dash Navigation Chief Executive Officer Paul Lego. “Using our unique two-way Internet connectivity, we can truly deliver on the promise of car navigation – to help you get around traffic and make it simple to find what you need when you’re in your car. We can’t wait to get the product into drivers’ hands in the coming months as this market is growing so rapidly."

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Forerunner Bike Mount

    After the tidal wave of GPS units hit the US with the CES 2007 show, Garmin announced that a nice little accessory is available to Garmin Forerunner 205 and 305 users. The $25 accessory is a bike mount for the popular Forerunner units that allow you to easily jump on the bike, snap in your forerunner and go.

    Not sure if it will be popular in the transition zones of the biggie triathlons, but it just might make the Forerunner a little more versatile for the rest of us.

    More at Garmin


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 11, 2007

    Pocket LOOX N100 in US

    Fujitsu Siemens and NAVIGON announced the Pocket LOOX N100 to the U.S. market at the CES 2007 show. This light, compact, and ultra-portable is another small, highly pocketable GPS that changes how we think about GPS navigation units. This is a similar type product to the Mio H610 GPS that I reviewed late last year. Small, feature-rich for those on the go. The Pocket LOOX N100 will be on sale in the Spring for a list price of $499.

    Designed for dynamic lifestyles – business people, over-scheduled soccer moms, anyone on the go – the Pocket LOOX measures 0.6 inches (16mm) thin and weighs 3.9 ounces (110 grams), making it the thinnest and smallest multifunctional PND available. This pocket-sized device delivers heavyweight performance in a featherweight package as the perfect travel companion. Featuring the largest display in its class, the Pocket LOOX 2.8 inch color screen is comparable to its heftier predecessors. The device, powered by a five-hour rechargeable lithium-ion battery, also sports a built-in MP3 player, video player, photo viewer and computer games in a trendy design that can hang off a keychain. The Pocket LOOX guarantees one-click operation; directed by NAVIGON’s customized MobileNavigator (MN) Premium™ software featuring touch screen capabilities and a multilingual user interface.

    The Pocket LOOX is the first U.S. device to leverage the advantages of NAVIGON’s MN Premium software for rich and easy-to-use, audio-guided navigation. The company’s category-leading map display provides lane information, point-of-interest searches with branded icons along the route, speed limit information and warnings, road signs, and GPS auto-follow in tunnels – features typically reserved for high-end products.

    The Pocket LOOX is sold with a Mini SD card (up to 2 GB), car holder, car charger, AC adapter, USB cable, headphones, two face plates, and a quick reference guide. Additional information is available at www.navigonusa.com.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    DeLorme PN-20 Handheld GPS

    As part of CES 2007, DeLorme has finally announced and put out information on its handheld, the Earthmate GPS PN-20, a color screened capable looking GPS. The unit will put mapping and maps front and center in its execution. The unit will be capable of displaying DeLorme’s excellent Topo maps and their street maps that make the PN-20 a route generating handheld. With its color screen and these features it will put it up for competition against some of the best handhelds on the market. The unit’s launch is as significant as the recent Bushnell launch of the ONIX 200 CR that has similar layering capabilities of maps and images under your basemaps to allow you to see where you are in a realistic (satellite image) situation (see images below).

    The unit will comes with the ability to download maps, again similar to Bushnell, and you will pay for them. The units ship with some free maps/satellite images/aerial images, up to several hundred square kilometers, which isn't bad. My expereience is that you might want to download for targeted areas anyway, so a state park for example, and not a whole state itself, so this may not be a big expense in the long run.

    The unit will be available in various bundles atarting at $369 at the DeLorme website.

    ArrowContinue reading: "DeLorme PN-20 Handheld GPS"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 10, 2007

    Traffic Feeds via HD Radio Signal

    By now, you are probably aware that some GPS devices can receive traffic feeds over the FM bandwidth (TMC Traffic) that are translated into visual representations of traffic situations, including incident reporting and traffic flow situations. At CES 2007, NAVTEQ is demonstrating the transmission of traffic feeds over HD radio waves, which just like the audio component offers a significant increase in bandwidth. This bandwidth increase will aloe more information to be sent which in turn can be changed into more personalized information for you and your GPS. Traffic coverage is set to increase and according to one report NAVTEQ is looking at using GPS equipped fleet vehicles (like Inrix does) to get more coverage than just roads equipped with sensors. With better coverage comes better information that is available, but the HD bandwidth increase should allows for more types of data display and more customized information.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Lost with a Navi-Phone

    Nice article just got posted about some of the hurdles a mobile phone based navigation system has to get over to perform well. Now this article written over at The Street has some bias built in that you should think about when you read it. The author is a bona fide GPS nut, but hey that means there are two of us. So, he is approaching his mobile phone navigation experience from the standpoint of “downgrading” from a stand alone all in one device to a phone based one, shrinking the screen and reducing the interface capabilities dramatically.

    Now consider the casual user who hasn’t used a Garmin, TomTom, or a Mio and s/he might think that the mobile phone based experience is great the three times they need it a month. Hey their needs may not be that complex so the quick system would in fact be great. Now s/he will also be blown away if they ever saw what some screen real estate can do for you and what a more complex operating system can do too.

    Anyway good read over at The Street on the tough hurdles a mobile phone based navigation system will experience.

    Read More

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    JVC EXAD NX5000


    JVC is stepping up at the CES 2007 show with the announcement of the high end JVC EXAD KD-NX5000 head unit that packs a lot of power into a single din high space. The navigation and entertainment unit features a 3.5 inch screen and holds a 40GB hard drive (16MB for navigation and 24MB for music) that is the basis for a lot of POI (13 million) and a lot of songs - up to 5,000 songs. The unit comes with built in maps of North America, and comes with TMC traffic capabilities, as well as Bluetooth handsfree pairing with up to 5 mobile phones. The unit is iPod ready with an optional KS-PD1000 adapter, and able to hook up to a rearview camera system to boot.

    Press Release Follows:

    ArrowContinue reading: "JVC EXAD NX5000"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    World's Smallest GPS Chip - Hammerhead II


    So, after all this mess about TomTom ONE and what chips they are using going forward, Global Locate and Infineon announced today that they are ready to produce the world's smallest GPS chip, named the Hammerhead II.

    Infineon Technologies and Global Locate, Inc. today announced the successful development of the industry's smallest Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver chip for mobile telephones, smart phones and personal navigation devices.

    Based on the successful Hammerhead chip, the new Hammerhead II chip is optimized for cellular handsets and mobile devices requiring high performance, low power and an extremely small footprint. The diminutive single-die chip measures only 3.74 mm x 3.59 mm x 0.6 mm, for a total footprint of less than 14 mm squared, resulting in the world's smallest GPS receiver.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    TomTom Embedded New Car Navigation Solution

    TomTom is planning on coming to a car showroom near you. In an interesting move, one that puts their brand front and center, TomTom is announcing the ability to factory install their GPS solution in new cars, either as a component behind the dash, or as a pop-off unit that can move from car to car, but will be integrated into the info-tainment system. This can be best explained as a factory installed version of the Eclipse AVN2210P unit that was announced at CES 2007 earlier this week.

    This is not unlike the Garmin "Black Box" GVN-52 that was announced last year at CES 2006, but certainly shows the maturation of the idea and the TomTom brand. It's one thing if you are car maker "X" to put a module behind the dash and let TomTom or Garmin do the splash screen, but it's certainly another thing to let them have a detachable module that supplants your equity as the provider of cool dash mounted things.

    The TomTom unit should be available for use this year, but no word on who might use it or install.

    TomTom Press Release Follows:

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom Embedded New Car Navigation Solution"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi 360 Upgrade

    I cruise the software upgrade notices over at Garmin, and every now and then some firmware comes along that's actually worth the upgrade; this is one of them. The latest Garmin Nuvi 360 firmware upgrade does a few things, but most noticeably it increases the volume on the speaker when you are using the Bluetooth handsfree feature on the Nuvi 360. Now, with this upgrade you'll also be getting upgraded support for Russian, Turkish, Slovak, and Estonian Pre-recorded voices, so you've got that going for you too! Anyway, if you are having a problem on the Nuvi 360 with the handfree calling volume checkout this 3.40 version upgrade.

    Link to Garmin Download

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 9, 2007

    TomTom ONE to use Global Locate Chipsets


    TomTom finally killed all rumors and confirmed today that they will be using Global Locate chips in their TomTom ONE device, starting this month. Apparently the chip was designed by both Global Locate and Infineon, a German company and will be used in their TTOne devices in North America and Europe.

    This is certainly the business deal that is behind the Patent Infringement lawsuits between SiRF and Global Locate.

    According to Global Locate’s Press Release…

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom ONE to use Global Locate Chipsets"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Apple iPhone - with a GPS?


    I know it's not at CES 2007, but this is important too. If you haven't heard, apparently Apple has a phone coming out, called the iPhone...... yea, like you could move today on the internet without tripping over a story about it. Well it uses Google Maps as an application, but no word on a true GPS chipset. The unit does look pretty amazing, as it is apparently going to run OS X as its operating system, making it a very nice little computer that happens to run phone calls, and more. Should be fun to see if this has a decent navigation program or not.... my hunch is that it will be well done, whatever it does.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    Porche P'9611 GPS with Navigon Onboard


    At CES 2007 NAVIGON offered the U.S. a sneak peek at the new P’9611 GPS by Porsche Design Group, a design that’s been kicking around in the wings for a while, and now it’s on display ahead of its Summer 2007 release. Designed as the ultimate luxury navigation product, the P’9611 packages the intuitive, full-featured NAVIGON experience in a super-sleek, timeless form factor.

    They will be offering Subscription FREE traffic for the lifetime of the product from NAVIGON – this is standard in Europe, but not in the US, where annual subscriptions are usually around $60.

    Separately, Navigon announced an agreement with ClearChannel to include TMC traffic in units that has their software with the cost of the traffic essentially included upfront. This will make the use of TMC traffic easier, and I would imagine drive adoption of the idea more broadly. The only issue will be if people walk away form the initial purchase due to the potentially higher cost of the unit.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Porche P'9611 GPS with Navigon Onboard"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Dual XNav4310 GPS


    Dual Electronics introduced a widescreen GPS with multimedia playback capabilities at CES 2007, dubbed the XNAV4310. The Dual XNAV4310 has a 4.3 inch widescreen and comes with the continental US maps and POI pre-loaded on a 1GB SD card. The unit can also run MP3 and AVI/video files, presumably loaded via the SD card slot, which makes you wonder if the unit can navigate while playing music.

    We’ll look for more information and get back.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 8, 2007

    Mio DigiWalker C520 and C250


    Update: The Mio C520 is now shipping in the US. Available at Amazon

    At CES 2007, Mio is giving a sneak peek at some upcoming GPS units that are sure to make for a nice follow-on to their strong holiday performance with the Mio C310x unit. The new Mio Digiwalker C520 and Digiwalker C250 will be launched later this year. The Mio C520 comes with a 4.3” widescreen display and a thin low profile display. The Mio C520 will support Bluetooth and have split screen capability that allows for address lookup and route info while still navigating with the map.

    The Mio C250 will be an entry-level device that will keep with the Digiwalker tradition of flat form factor GPS units so that it can be packed easily to go when outside the car. It will come with maps pre-loaded and navigate out of the box with a 3.5-inch touchscreen.

    No word on availability or pricing, but expect them to be very competitive. This holiday season, Mio Captured the eyes and pocketbooks of a lot of people, getting a 37 percent share of GPS sales the week of Thanksgiving. Most people went to Staples to get theirs, where the unit was on sale for $149; an unbelievable price.

    “The Mio DigiWalker C310x was extremely popular with our customers this holiday season,” said James Emond, buyer, Staples. “It is an easy-to-use product at a great price point for both personal use and for mobile professionals on the go.”

    We reviewed the Mio C310x and talked to the product manager Isabella Hoogland about updates. Recently they also posted a patch for some routing problems around Washington DC.

    Mio is also showing off their Mio H610 portable GPS, which we reviewed late last year. The stylish device is very capable and very pocketable.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    TomTom and Eclipse Launch the AVN2210P

    EclipseAVN2210p.jpgAt CES 2007, Eclipse announced that they are working with TomTom to put out the AVN2210p a Double DIN media hub for the car, with a detachable GPS unit. The 3.5 inch display is driven by TomTom navigation software, and come loaded with North American maps on a small SD card. The detachable navigation unit incorporates a GPS antenna, built-in speaker and rechargeable battery, making it fully operable independently when removed from the main unit. Users can also access TomTom PLUS services including weather and traffic reports.

    The media hub can run FM/AM, CD, CD-R/RW, MP3 and WMA files can be enjoyed even when the navigation section is removed. Additional source options include USB memory devices with MP3 music, iPod, Bluetooth enabled cellular phones for hands-free calls, and digital satellite radio tuners (XM/Sirius).

    The unit should retail for about $900 list price and be available in the Spring.

    Via CRAVE

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    TomTom Accessories: FM Modulator Mount

    At CES 2007, TomTom announced a few new accessories to make your TomTom enabled life a little bit nicer. There is a new FM modulator for the GO 510/910 line, a new mount for the TomTom ONE, and some leather cases that will all be available at the TomTom store.

    The TomTom FM Transmitter Mount is an enhanced windshield mount designed for the GO x10 series that allows navigation instructions, music and hands-free calling to be wirelessly transmitted to car speakers over an FM radio signal. Users can also hear songs on their iPod over the car speakers if the iPod is connected to their TomTom GO 910/510 device. The seamless integration between the TomTom GO and the car stereo ensures that music is paused when voice instructions are needed or hands-free calls are made.

    This will be available in March for $50.

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom Accessories: FM Modulator Mount"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    TomTom WORK Comes to US


    At CES 2007, TomTom announced the launch of TomTom WORK, a new product and services offering that provides businesses with a connected navigation solution. TomTom WORK combines tracking and tracing technology with smart navigation for easy, two way communication for cars, dispatchers, fleet managers and drivers.

    TomTom WORK offers an easy to use connected solution for fleet owners to streamline the daily management and communication with their fleet and staff. Companies that benefit from TomTom WORK include those that rely on the efficient and flexible management of commercial vehicles to meet customers needs while simultaneously monitoring each vehicle’s progress.

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom WORK Comes to US"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Medion MD RIM1000 UMPC Tablet with Built in GPS


    Hitting the internet right in the middle of CES 2007 week, is this news that Medion is coming to the US with this sleek looking UMPC tablet. The MD RIM1000 unit is apparently comes with some decent stats; which include an onboard GPS system, a 6.5 inch touchscreen, Bluetooth 2.0, WiFi, and a DVB-T tuner. Apparently this is going to be available January 30th. We’ll see. No pricing yet.

    More at Engadget

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Global Locate Sues SiRF for Patent Infringement

    Global Locate, Inc., announced that it is filing today an Answer and Counterclaims against SiRF Technology, Inc in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California seeking monetary damages and an injunction against SiRF's infringement of four of Global Locate's Assisted-GPS technology patents. This tit-for-tat filing counters SiRF's claims that Global Locate is infringing on SiRF's patents. Seems like the bottom line is that this, like the Garmin vs. TomTom suits, is one aspect of the increasingly competitive and lucrative GPS business. This is when the winners and losers are decided in the GPS game, and they are fighting for survival here.

    From their press release: "Global Locate is filing its Answer and Counterclaims in response to a claim that SiRF initiated on December 15, 2006, after SiRF's stock price dropped precipitously on news that TomTom, a major SiRF customer, had awarded a significant contract to Global Locate. Global Locate believes that SiRF's complaint lacks merit and will fail."

    Humm, while this doesn't say that TomTom has picked Global Locate, doesn't it feel a little more real that they did with some statement like this? If they didn't, wouldn't Global Locate just leave it at something like "They sued us and they are wrong so we're suing them."

    More from the press release....

    ArrowContinue reading: "Global Locate Sues SiRF for Patent Infringement"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Bushnell ONIX 400CR with XM Weather


    We saw a little bit of the Bushnell ONIX 400CR in December, and Bushnell officially announced the ONIX 400CR at CES 2007 today. The Bushnell 400CR is a color handheld GPS unit that features XM Satellite weather and radar that is superimposed right on top of the map for up to date views of the weather situation around you. This is a great innovation, and one that I think is trendsetting. (It plays XM music too, so you don't get bored hunting or goecaching.)

    "XM and Bushnell have developed a product that packs the power of XM's music and entertainment, along with a continuous pipeline to the situational data like weather and GPS into a single device," said Michael Hooper, manager, Advanced Application and Services, XM Satellite Radio. "Now consumers can continuously hold the most intuitive, up-to-date and comprehensive weather data and entertainment content in the palm of their hands." "We are pleased to partner with XM to develop a revolutionary device. The product is designed for the outdoor enthusiast looking for the most advanced GPS device available, and will be among the more affordable products in this area," said Phil Gyori, vice president of marketing at Bushnell.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Bushnell ONIX 400CR with XM Weather"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Clifford Scout 420 Wins CES Innovation Award


    So some were perplexed and even pissed off when we reported on the Clifford Scout 420 GPS that resembles a Sony PSP. Well, the Clifford Scout 420 just received an Innovation Award for the CES 2007 show. The Clifford Scout420 SIRIUS-Ready Portable Navigation System and Personal Media Player is a multi-faceted portable navigation system with pre-loaded North American maps and more than 2 million points of interest, which also functions as a 20GB Personal Media Player with a large bright 4.3 inch color touch-screen. Unlike any other combined portable navigation system and PMP on the market, the Scout420 is also SIRIUS-Ready! The optional SIRIUS Cradle (MSRP: $99) for the Scout420 allows it to receive SIRIUS Satellite Radio ($12.95/mo.). The Scout420 features a 100 channel FM transmitter, AV-in and Mini-USB for recording from TV, DVD or camcorder, a compact portable design and 3-hour internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It comes with a carrying case, cigarette lighter adapter, AC adapter, car mounting kit, USB cable, memory card, and owner's guide. The product will be available in late February with an expected street price of $699.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Sanyo NVM-4070 and NVM-4050


    Sanyo has announced a couple of new updates to their GPS line; coming to you from the CES 2007 show. The higher end Sanyo Easy Street NVM-4070, and the Mid-tier Easy Street NVM-4050. The NVM-4070 is pretty feature packed with TMC Traffic, text-to-speech, and a big 4 inch touchscreen. The unit also features music playback and you can even watch MPEG/Divx movies with the built-in video player; you can load your movies or songs via the SD card slot. The NVM-4050 still has the 4 inch screen, but skips the traffic and video features. Both are nicely built on the SiRF star III chipset.

    The NVM-4070 should be priced at $600 and the NVM-4050 at about $500 list price; both should be available in April 2007.

    More details from the press release follows…

    ArrowContinue reading: "Sanyo NVM-4070 and NVM-4050"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Jensen NVXM1000, NVX406, NVX227 GPS Units

    At CES 2007 today, Audiovox introduced 3 GPS systems that don't look too shabby with some features that are sure to stack up well. The units will be coming out under the Jensen brand name, and offer GPS and XM satellite in one product. The NVXM1000 will be a top of the line model with an 8GB drive, 4 inch color screen and when you pop in an XM mini-receiver it gets XM Real-Time Traffic. It won't be cheap, at about $1,000. The mid-tier NV406 has a 4GB hard drive and a 3.5 inch screen that is more common in the GPS world. It will also dock with a mini-XM receiver and offer some PDA features like calendar, address-book, etc. It will retail for around $600 - list price. The entry level model NVX227 features the same mapping and POI capabilities as the NVX406, but on a 1GB flash memory card. It will have an SD slot for expandable capacity and comes with an internal battery, car adapter and USB cable. List Price is $349.

    Manufacturer Site (no extra info at this point)

    Should be available by April. Press Release from the CES 2007 show and more details follow....

    ArrowContinue reading: "Jensen NVXM1000, NVX406, NVX227 GPS Units"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Trimble GuideWorx - Outdoor GPS Navigation on Mobile Phones


    We broke the news late last week, and now at CES 2007, Trimble has announced more details on their Outdoor Mobile Phone GPS navigation solution named GuideWorx. GuideWorx GPS transforms a mobile phone into a powerful handheld GPS device specifically designed for both on- and off-road navigation. For the first time, consumers can completely manage their outdoor experiences -- from receiving content-rich trip planning information, to on-the-go driving and recreational navigation, along with sharing these experiences online, using one ultra-portable and cost-effective cellular device.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Trimble GuideWorx - Outdoor GPS Navigation on Mobile Phones"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Pioneer AVIC-Z2


    At CES 2007, Pioneer announced an updated AVIC model, the AVIC-Z2 in dash entertainment and navigation wonder. The nig news here is that the unit will learn frequently used roads and incorporate them into suggested routes when appropriate. I predicted smarter navigation like this back in December as one of the trends I expect to emerge in the CES and coming year. Who’d a thought I would be right. Anyway, the technology is there, let’s hope it works, as I see this as an area for improvement with routing.

    The new Pioneer AVIC-Z2 includes an updated TeleAtlas map database with more accurate mapping data, XM Satellite Traffic, and bunch of entertainment options including audio and video, connectivity to your iPod and Bluetooth phones. The 10GB hard drive should make for another great place to stow some songs in your life. It plays DVD video and DVD-R/-RW for an alternate video screen while you truck down the road listening to your own music.

    The Pioneer AVIC 2200 is expected to cost $2200 and be available in April 2007.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    TeleNav Traffic Announced; Data from Inrix

    Inrix and TeleNav announced an agreement at CES 2007 that they are teaming up to be the first to launch a GPS navigation system on mobile phones in the US, under which Inrix will provide traffic data to TeleNav for the first mobile phone-based GPS navigation service with intelligent traffic notification and one-click rerouting functionality. Definitely a requirement going forward of any GPS navigation solution. I'll still say that I don't know if all this mobile phone navigation will slow all in one GPS unit growth or drive it, as more people realize that GPS navigation is great, and that doing it on a micro mobile phone screen is not???? We'll see.

    At the 2007 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) today in Las Vegas, TeleNav announced immediate availability of TeleNav Traffic, the latest feature of TeleNav GPS Navigator, a turn-by-turn, GPS-enabled voice and on-screen navigation service. TeleNav Traffic, initially available on certain phones, regularly monitors traffic and proactively alerts users of slowdowns and incidents along their routes. With just one click, TeleNav Traffic will reroute users in order to minimize travel time, taking into account the latest traffic conditions.

    ArrowContinue reading: "TeleNav Traffic Announced; Data from Inrix"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 7, 2007

    Review: Garmin Nuvi 680 Review

    The Garmin Nuvi 680 is sure to be the darling of the GPS world for the near future with its connectedness and its Nuvi 660 heritage. The MSN direct capabilities of weather, traffic, movie times and gas prices are probably only the beginning of the connected revolution as we know that MSN Direct has more wireless capabilities to offer, and Dash Navigation is going to enter the market with their 2-way connected Dash Express GPS, putting pressure everyone to provide more and more information. Interface is key, as you’d never be able to browse the internet on a small screen while driving down the highway… you need intelligent design to help you. It appears that Garmin has done a great job so far, as Craig Ellison from PC Magazine has posted his review of the Nuvi 680, giving it an Editor’s Choice award.

    He tested the unit out, cruising around my old town of Cincinnati, looking for gas stations, movie times and new routes around town. Since the unit runs on the basic Nuvi 660 structure, which he likes (His Review of the Nuvi 660, and my review of the Nuvi 660), he concentrated on the new Location Based Services. He liked the ability to find this information at the touch of a screen but again, as with the Nuvi 660, you are going to have to pay up for this cutting edge capability.

    Read More at PC Mag

    More Nuvi 660 information.

    At Amazon

    Get a whole lot more information on the Garmin Nuvi 680.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 6, 2007

    Clarion NICE 430 GPS

    Right before CES 2007, Clarion announced its new Navigation In-Car Entertainment system (N.I.C.E.) the N.I.C.E. 430. It appears to be a nice good looking widescreen unit with a SiRF star III chipset and Bluetooth handsfree capability. The unit will retail for a list price of $499.

    "For consumers who want the ultimate in portable navigation, we are
    pleased to introduce our new N.I.C.E. 430 handheld unit," said Ralph
    Dominguez, senior product planning manager, Clarion Corporation of America.
    "Our N.I.C.E. 430 handheld offers it all in a sleek unit: GPS navigation,
    music/picture storage and playback."

    ArrowContinue reading: "Clarion NICE 430 GPS"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Mio C310X Patch for Washington DC Routing Issues

    Mio has posted a patch that should remedy the issues when navigating around Washington DC and Maryland. The issue centered on the fact that the Mio C310x couldn’t navigate across/near some bridges in the area (like the I-495 bridge) and as a result, created some very odd routes. Anyway, when I talked with the product manager for the Mio C310x she said that the patch would be coming in short order.

    More after the jump...

    ArrowContinue reading: "Mio C310X Patch for Washington DC Routing Issues"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    January 5, 2007

    New GPS at the CES 2007 Show

    CES GPS Award Winners

    UPDATE: Don't miss all the CES show news; Check out our Homepage.

    I thought I would put together a bit of a roadmap to the new GPS announcements from Garmin, Cobra, and others at the CES 2007 show. They are coming fast and furious, so it may be tough to keep up:

    Garmin is the Gorilla here with a flurry of announcements to kick off the show:

  • Nuvi 680 and StreetPilot 580 both with MSN Direct connectedness for Gas Prices, Traffic, Weather and movie updates.
  • Nuvi 370 and Nuvi 670 – New GPS upversions with both North American Maps and European maps pre-loaded for jetsetters.
  • Garmin Zumo 450 - the little brother to the Zumo 550 motorcycle GPS.
  • Garmin Astro 220 – A dog tracking combination with a specially designed GPSMAP 60CSx and a dog mounted transmitter to track while hunting (this is announced from the Shot show in Orlando).
  • Garmin VIB 10 – an interface box that allows a StreetPilot C550 to feed your Aux input on your car stereo.
  • Garmin at National and Alamo – New partnership look for a customized C330 model for rent with your car.
  • Garmin Acquired DCI a Location Based Services provider; this is the future of the GPS industry; directions are commodities, we need connectedness.

    There are some other big news items here too:

  • LG is entering the US market with 4 GPS units for the automobile.
  • Cobra will be launching the NavOne 2100 - entry level GPS with some nice features for a good price.
  • Cobra Nav One 5000 - Cobra also pre-announced plans for a big 5 inched screen slim unit that will be available this Fall.
  • DeLorme Earthmate BT-20 – The new Earthmate BT-20 will be shown at CES, a Bluetooth GPS receiver.
  • NAVTEQ announced the availability of a special pedestrian friendly dataset, “Discover Cities” for use on mobile phones or other navigation devices.
  • Clifford Scout 420 – a new portable GPS that looks a lot like a Sony PSP; plays music and maybe movies.
  • Clarion NICE 430 was announced Saturday; the widescreen comes with Bluetooth handsfree capability.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Cobra NavOne 5000

    Continuing the rush of news from CES 2007, Cobra has "Pre-announced" the newest entry to their line-up, the Cobra 5000, which is expected this Fall. The HUGE 5 inch screen will be a biggie on the block, and the promised slim design should make it fit in well with the rest of the makers who are going slim. Let's face it, slim isn't just for Nuvi based jet setters anymore; it's really for everyone.

    Price and exact ship dates are to be determined. When we hear something, we'll pass it on.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Cobra NavOne 2100


    Update: More news late this afternoon on the Cobra NavOne 2100 - Details after the jump.

    Cobra is getting ready to launch the NavOne 2100 at CES 2007 next week. The new GPS from Cobra will be a value entry that has a 3.5-inch screen and will be preloaded with North American TeleAtlas maps. The NavOne 2100 will also feature Cobra’s patent-pending Compare Routes feature, which allows drivers to choose from two on-screen routing options. Finally, the unit will optionally offer traffic alerts. They appear ready to push some ease of use and customizatin features like "My Favorite Brands" a way to highlight brands of stores, etc. that you like.

    Cobra has beefed up their line lately with the launch of the Cobra NavOne 2500.

    We’ll be looking forward to more news on the Cobra NavOne 2100 at the CES 2007 show.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Cobra NavOne 2100"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Acquires LBS Provider Digital Cyclone Inc.

    Garmin announced that they would be acquiring Location Based Services (LBS) provider Digital Cyclone Inc. ("DCI") for $45 million in cash. DCI has been an early mover in the emerging location based services market offering weather solutions for consumers, outdoor enthusiasts, and pilots on a subscription based model that are delivered to customers in partnership with top national wireless carriers as well as regional carriers. DCI offers weather, and fishing forecasts over mobile phone networks.

    Nothing signals Garmin’s move into LBS like the launch of the Nuvi 680, and the StreetPilot C580 with MSN Direct, AND the acquisition of an LBS provider in the same day. It’s obvious that they understand the future of where the market is going (connectedness) and I look forward to seeing what else hits the market in the coming months.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Acquires LBS Provider Digital Cyclone Inc."

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    NAVTEQ Discover Cities For Mobile Local Search and Travel


    Ahead of CES 2007, NAVTEQ announced the availability of NAVTEQ Discover Cities, a new product created specifically for personal navigation devices, personal media players, cell phone and other mobile devices. This bundle of map and Points-of-Interest (POI) content will be available to device manufacturers, wireless carriers and application developers to enable more relevant mobile local search and travel guidance. So, while your GPS in the car may be loaded with appropriate Points of Interest and items accessible to you in a car, this dataset seems to have captured data that might be useful to anyone moving on foot too. I could see something like this going into any flat GPS unit, or served up into a mobile phone application.

    ArrowContinue reading: "NAVTEQ Discover Cities For Mobile Local Search and Travel"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    LG has New GPS for US: LN 790, LN740, LN735, and the LN730

    LG Electronics is entering the US GPS market via the CES 2007 show next week. Expect four new products out of them, the LG LN 790, LN740, LN735, and the LN730. Clearly the exploding market in GPS has attracted some biggies to the game. We’ll be interested to see if these entries can do well versus some pretty stiff competition in TomTom and Garmin. It appears that the top of the line will feature a widescreen format, while the lower end of the line will feature a traditional 3.5 inch screen. You get all the bells and whistles at the high end, Text to Speech verbal directions, media capabilities, and Bluetooth. At the vvalue end of the line, yoou are still getting a nice sized touch screen with pre-loaded maps of North America, photo and music playback and millions of POI’s. ArrowContinue reading: "LG has New GPS for US: LN 790, LN740, LN735, and the LN730"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    DeLorme Earthmate BT-20

    DeLorme will be introducing the Earthmate BT-20 Bluetooth GPS receiver at CES 2007. The new Bluetooth receiver should be available in the coming weeks. It will be available with the Topo USA 6.0 and the StreetAtlas USA 2007 bundles. It's Windows compatible and works on a Mac running BootCamp. It will also work on smart phones that are touchscreen enabled. A quick search came up with bundled prices in the $150+ range.

    I reviewed the StreetAtlas 2007 in November - read my review. Very full featured and very powerful.

    Word on the street is that DeLorme will be introducing other items at CES 2007, so stay tuned.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Clifford Scout 420 GPS Navigation and Media Player


    UPDATE: More details and an award for the Clifford Scout 420

    Directed Electronics, the maker behind a lot of commonly known premium electronics names, is set to launch at CES 2007 a portable media and GPS device that looks an awful lot like a Sony PSP. The unit will be branded the Clifford Scout 420, and looks like it will provide navigation and the ability to listen to music and potentially play video. With Sony moving from games to GPS, with this unit eventually play my PSP games? No word on price or availability, but look for more news at the CES 2007 show on this one.

    Check out all the CES 2007 GPS Action.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi 680

    As we previously mentioned in November, Garmin is launching the Nuvi 680, a beefed up Nuvi 660 with SPOT technology that has access to MSN direct information like traffic, gas, weather and movie times and locations (see images after the jump). The unit will also get traffic feeds through MSN. In looking at the display, it looks like Garmin is up-versioning the capabilities of the traffic feature, including comments about delays. It will be interesting to see this play out as the MSN Direct traffic is through Traffic.com, which was recently acquired by NAVTEQ, and not Inrix, the data supplier of TMC traffic. The unit gets 12 months of MSN service for free with the purchase of the unit. Garmin is launching the Nuvi 680 at the CES 2007 show along with a whole bunch of new GPS units.

    UPDATE: I have posted my Review of the Nuvi 680

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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin StreetPilot C580

    Garmin has also announced in conjunction with the Nuvi 680, the StreetPilot C580, which will also be connected with MSN Direct data feeds, so you can get traffic, gas, weather and movie times and locations. The unit will also get traffic feeds through MSN. In looking at the display, it looks like Garmin is up-versioning the capabilities of the traffic feature, including comments about delays. It will be interesting to see this play out as the MSN Direct traffic is through Traffic.com, which was recently acquired by NAVTEQ, and not Inrix, the data supplier of TMC traffic.

    The unit gets 12 months of MSN service for free with the purchase of the unit. Garmin is launching the StreetPilot C580 at the CES 2007 show along with a whole bunch of other new Garmin GPS products.

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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi 670


    The Garmin Nuvi 670 isn't groundbreaking, but is a step in the right direction for a lot of people who travel across the Atlantic Ocean, as it will come with North American and European maps preloaded, and have the ability to run traffic alerts in both locations as well. It is an upgrade to the existing Nuvi 660, so it will have Bluetooth capabilities too. I have had a lot of readers write in about just this need, so it's good to see Garmin responding to their consumers. The Nuvi 670 is being launched in conjunction with the Nuvi 370 (non-widescreen version) along with other new Garmin GPS units at the CES 2007 show in Las Vegas.

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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi 370


    The Garmin Nuvi 370 isn't groundbreaking, but is a step in the right direction for a lot of people who travel across the Atlantic Ocean, as it will come with North American and European maps preloaded, and have the ability to run traffic alerts in both locations as well. It builds on the capabilities of the Nuvi 360, so it will include Bluetooth. I have had a lot of readers write in about just this need, so it's good to see Garmin responding to their consumers. The Nuvi 370 is being launched in conjunction with the Nuvi 670 (widescreen version) and other new Garmin GPS units at the CES 2007 show in Las Vegas.

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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Astro 220 - Dog Tracking GPS


    In an interesting move responding to their hunter constituents, Garmin has announced the Garmin Astro, a dog tracking GPS combination. The Garmin Astro 220 allows you to equip your dog with a transponder and you get to track him/her on a modified Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx, their very capable top of the line handheld unit - see my recent review of the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx. The Astro 220 is being announced at the SHOT Outdoors/Hunting show (not the CES 2007 believe it or not) in Orlando.

    In classic fashion through Garmin added some features that make the hunting experience better like adding a simple waypoint marker routine that allows you to capture when and where specifically you encounters bird flushes if you are hunting upland game. It also comes equipped with hunter specific icons for marking other waypoints. Nice job.

    Interesting pictures below of the unit and the dog mount....

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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Garmin VIB-10 Adapter


    The Garmin VIB 10 is a new unit that allows the StreetPilot C550 and presumably future units to have RCA outs and be connected out of sight so that it feeds your car stereo system with a direct connection through the AUX input on most aftermarket systems these days. That's the upside, but the downside is that the adapter replaces the current C550 power adapter and eliminates the traffic feed antenna. The VIB 10 is being shown at the CES 2007 show along with other new Garmin GPS units.

    "The VIB 10 is an ideal way to utilize your car's audio system for navigation voice prompts, phone calls, and MP3 playback," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "It also reduces cable clutter while still allowing the unit itself to be moved from vehicle to vehicle for maximum utility."

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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Zumo 450

    Fresh on the heels of the Zumo 550 shipping, Garmin has announced the Zumo 450, a more affordable unit It retains teh glove friendly design, the waterproof housing, the left handed controls, and the oversized buttons. It skips the Bluetooth feature that is present in it's big brother. The Zumo 450 is being launched at CES 2007 along with a lot of other new Garmin GPS units.

    "The zumo 450 is positioned towards the budget conscience rider who wants a solid and reliable GPS designed for motorcycles," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "Whether riding a cruiser or sportbike, the zumo's intuitive interface and motorcycle-specific attributes make it ideal for any rider on the go."

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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin at National and Alamo Car Rental Outlets


    Garmin announced today in conjuction with a whole bunch of new GPS announcements at the CES 2007 show that they are teaming up with National and Alamo car rental groups to offer a Garmin GPS (based on the Garmin StreetPilot C330) for daily rental at these outlets; cost is $10.99 a day. In a pretty bold statement, Dan Bartel, Garmin's VP os Worldwide sales said, "Garmin is pleased to be the new navigation provider for Vanguard Car Rental." Translation "Magellan and its claims to fame with their NeverLost products at Hertz are old news."

    If you are keeping score:



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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 4, 2007

    Garmin Zumo 550 Review

    The Garmin Zumo came to the market after the TomTom RIDER, and seemed to have missed the big riding season by the time it shipped late in the Fall. It appears from a new review from YourNav that the Zumo is a pretty strong contender, and should pull away from the pack with its ease of use and strong featureset.
    "There are a few things which the RIDER is better at ... but in general, this zūmo is the better unit, and wins hands down."
    The Zumo was designed to ride, with several design features that makes it perfectly suited to head out on the road on a motorcycle, including a glove friendly touch screen, Bluetooth compatibility for wireless headset based voice directions, and a water tight housing that should keep you going in the right direction even when the weather turns bad. There are some nice touches that I like, rubberized buttons (like the Mio C310x), and an internal antenna that doesn't have to flip out. The unit is TMC and XM traffic capable, and nicely enough comes with a windshield mount also for car use.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Zumo 550 Review"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Trimble to announce GuideWorx GPS Navigation for Mobile Phones


    Trimble is well known in the GPS world, but maybe not as much as some other names in the average consumer's mind, but they have been making moves recently to try and change that. They are getting ready to announce GuideWorx GPS a mobile phone navigation application that will allow GPS enabled phones to give you turn by turn navigation on the road, as well as off road navigation in a phone applicaiton. No word on pricing or compatibility. Expect more details on this Mobile Phone GPS App at CES 2007, happening next week in Las Vegas.

    Trimble has a couple of other applications in their stable for the mobile phone, including AllSport GPS, a fitness tracking service that allows you to use your GPS enabled GPS as a tracking device that in conjunction with online services, allows you to keep track of your workouts and training records. They also recently announced Geocache Navigator that has the ability to allow you to Geocache with your mobile phone.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    XM Satellite to Show Off Weather Tracking at CES

    XM Satellite will be showing off the capability to beam weather information about your current location and your destination. Now let's hope that they are also getting the idea that we want RADAR images on the screen too, because animated radar images can tell you a lot about what's coming in terms of weather and how that might factor into what you do on and off the road. Check out what Bushnell is doing in their handheld units to see what I mean. The company will be showing off the technology in a vehicle equipped with the capability at CES 2007. Expect some sort of implementation by Summer 2007.

    Press Release Below with more details...

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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Buying Guide: Outdoor/Handheld GPS Recommendations

    The current crop of GPS receivers are generally small and affordable for entry level GPS units. If you would like to get a lot of bells and whistles, you can easily pay up to $500 for a handheld GPS when you start adding on the latest features. So while the prices of GPS units have dropped, to a little more than $100 for a decent entry level GPS, the feature sets have gotten better too.

    Updated: Jan 4, 2007

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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 3, 2007

    Dash Express Partners with Yahoo for Connected Search


    Dash Navigation announced that it is teaming up with Yahoo! , allowing Dash Express users to search Yahoo! Local for nearby products, services or businesses from their cars -- a GPS industry first. This is no huge surprise, but instead nice confirmation that Dash is making concrete steps in laying out their service in carefully measured steps as they move towards market. They laid out the proposition of a connected device, their mapping partner, their connected live feed traffic partner, and now a search partner. The Dash Express will be connected via WiFi and Wireless networks that will allow you to get all kinds of information at your fingertips.

    "For the first time, drivers will be able to leave their homes knowing that they can easily find whatever they need -- right from their car. It's that simple."

    Dash is stopping short of giving you full browser ability, but will be streamlining the data information, allowing you to search on terms, not just business names or proximity. (You'll be able to search for "Propane" instead of guessing which gas stations or stores near you have propane available.)

    ArrowContinue reading: "Dash Express Partners with Yahoo for Connected Search"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Pharos GPS Phone


    Pharos is launching a re-branded ETEN Glofiish X500 phones/GPS/PDA. The unit comes with the omnipresent SiRF star III chipset, as well as Bluetooth, WiFi, and EDGE technology in a svelte 0.6 inch thick phone chassis. The 2 megapixel camera and 2.8 inch screen, 400 megahertz processor, 128 MB of ROM and 64 MB RAM. A micro SD slot helps you add more memory. Should be available this quarter.

    Via engadget

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Acquires French Distributor

    Garmin announced that it has acquired EME Tec Sat SAS ("EME"), the exclusive distributor of Garmin's consumer products in France. Following the acquisition, EME will change its name to Garmin France SAS. The company will retain its management, sales, marketing and supporting staff, consisting of approximately 50 people, and will continue to be located at its current headquarters in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris. Sounds like things are heating up in Europe.

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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 2, 2007

    Review: Garmin StreetPilot 2820 Review


    There is a good review of the very capable Garmin StreetPilot 2820 GPS over at PocketGPS world. Nice write-up with a good set of pictures to highlight key features of the SP2820. The unit is a higher end Garmin with Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to connect to your computer to do some advanced pre-planning of trips via the Mapsource software. For those of you who use this software for Garmin Handhelds, this should be a familiar experience. The unit supports either TMC or XM satellite traffic.

    ReadMore at PocketGPS World

    More info at Amazon

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    The Future of GPS - Some GPS Smartphones, mostly Stand Alones

    At the turn of the year, it's always good to take a look at where things stand and where they are going. There is a nice little post over at Silicon,com that references a report from research company Strategy Analytics that by 2010, about one quarter of GPS enabled devices will be GPS enabled smart phones - fully functioning types, not just basic calling and GPS enabled things that are selling for $20 at the mall. Their research found that while only 5% of travel is to unknown areas, people will be turning to stand alone GPS devices for additional higher end services like TMC traffic, and other connected location based services like restaurant reviews and true search of POI's based on meta tags, not just titles. (Hummm, sounds like Dash Navigation)

    ReadMore at Silicon.com

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    The Future of Cameras; GPS Enabled

    This interesting little video comes via YouTube and is apparently a little rah-rah video that talks about the past and the future of this little company that defined the beautiful picture for so many generations, in a film sort of way. With the ever shrinking digital camera, and the ever expanding feature sets of these things, Kodak apparently wants to strike pay dirt with a new line of cameras that includes some pretty hefty stuff, like internal GPS chips (easy geo-tagging), on the fly composition and color corrections, and quick and easy sharing capabilities. Can it still fit in my pocket?

    Via Engadget
    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    GPS Enabled Shoes - Issac Daniel Running Shoes


    Just in case you didn't get what gift you really wanted, and have a few bucks hanging around, you can always splurge on these bad boys; GPS enabled shoes. These GPS enabled sneakers were announced in November, and available now, retailing for about $350. The shoe has a built in GPS receiver that at the press of a button, will alert people to your whereabouts. Very James Bond. The Quantum Satellite Technology (QST) shoe is billed as a running shoe for now, and comes with a charger.

    More at IssacDaniel

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    NAVTEQ Map Reporter - Consumer Input on Maps and POI

    Not to be outdone, NAVTEQ has launched their own consumer input area on their website so that you can check on their maps and bring mapping issues to their attention. It's called the Map Reporter. TeleAtlas launched a similar consumer input area, called MapInsight several months ago, and while this isn't a source of great volumes of changes (they get millions of updates per month from other sources), I would imagine it's a great place to vent some frustration and get a few minor issues explored to your satisfaction. NAVTEQ has a fairly easy to use interface with draggable maps to pan left and right on the screen. If you are missing a road, this interface is great. If you are concerned about Points of Interest, the Map Reporter does not display the current POI's, so it's a bit harder to give them input.

    Read More at Navteq

    Thanks to the reader comment from Mapiator who sent this in.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 1, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 660


    The Garmin Nuvi 660 is the first widescreened (4.3-inch) Garmin Nuvi to hit the market, and was launched in late summer of 2006. It keeps with the thin is in Nuvi Form Factor, and offers traveler's aids (audiobook, music, conversion calculator, etc) in addition to navigation. The Nuvi 660 also features a very bright screen that in my use stands up to direct sunlight so that you can see what the GPS has to tell you in the brightest conditions. The Nuvi 660 also has Bluetooth capabilities, and also comes with TMC Traffic standard, with a great little receiver built right into the 12 volt power plug.

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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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