January 30, 2008

Garmin Nuvifone

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Garmin has entered the mobile phone race as of tonight, with the release of the Nuvi Phone, a touchscreen phone that of course includes a GPS and navigation. I guess the rumors of them working on a phone from last April were true...The Nuviphone will use 3.5G technology, and creates what Garmin is calling its future. The new phone will help them answer the marketplace trend that has more and more phones becoming the navigation vehicle of choice.

It will be interesting to see how the details on the phone look.

Via

Press release below....

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January 30, 2008

Mio to do Connected GPS with Qualcomm

Mio and Qualcomm announced that they are teaming up to work on a new Mio connected GPS capability. Mio has been talking about connected GPS and now has the partnership to be able to do it in fairly short order I would imagine. The connectivity will allow for higher bandwidth traffic updates and better search abilities. The interface challenge becomes more substantial when you add these items because you need to make this a "60 MPH" interface, and not a web browser that can be read at your leisure.

So, just a few months ago, it looked like Dash Navigation, the pioneers in cellular connected GPS, looked line the lone horse, now Magellan, TomTom and Mio have weighed into the fight. I would imagine that Garmin will have something either at CeBit this March or late this summer for a Holiday launch.

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January 30, 2008

When Will GPS Prices Drop?

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A lot of readers write in and ask "When will the Price drop on this GPS?". Well the answer might just lie in looking back at the price trends over the last 12+ months. I've been doing this GPS blog long enough to know that there are a couple of key periods when prices will drop on existing models so that you can grab them at the right time.

If you can wait a month or so, another buying opportunity might just be around the corner in March. Now, just like any consumer electronics business, there are great sales that blow the following logic out of the water, but I am looking at a general trend.

Overall, there are three times when significant price drops happen.

1) New models hit the shelves ahead of the summer driving season - Older models tend to drop in price as a result. This happened last year in March, as the CES 2007 models hit the store shelves as CeBit show units were announced. This is all in preparation for the summer driving season which is a big GPS time of year. In the image above you can see that prices took a dive in March and that prices stay fairly steady through the summer driving season.

2) Holiday shopping season - Crazy time of year, and there is the other big price drop opportunity. The drops come in staggering jolts and at some outlets, not all, but generally it is a time of amazing discounting.

3) Just After a New Model's Launch - This isn't shown on this chart above because the Nuvi 350 was well established in the market by the time this data was collected, but usually new models launch at a pretty high price and then within 6 - 12 weeks, drop down to more normal pricing. This is just the way electronics are. For those who remember, the Nuvi 350, just known as the "Nuvi" back in September 2005, was launched and priced close to $1,000. The flat GPS market was born and the rest is history....

It is interesting to note that the prices through the summer driving season are essentially flat on this established model. It was not the case for newly introduced models as they dropped in price across the summer. Likewise, on models that compete with those new models dropped in price. So last summer, the Nuvi 200 was introduced and its price dropped across the summer; the TomTom ONE also kept pace to make sure it was competitive.

The data above was grabbed off of my Steals and Deals posts where I highlight the best deals out there on any given week. The prices reflect Amazon pricing, not always the lowest, but always close and from my reader feedback, a place that they trust. The prices are for the Garmin Nuvi 350, a unit that has been in the market for a long time and has defined high quality and high appeal for almost the entire time it's been on the market. It's been the most popular GPS on the US market for months, and at times when these big price drops happen, it's the #1 seller in all of Amazon's Electronics stores, outselling digital cameras and iPods.

Hope this helps.


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January 29, 2008

Mio Digiwalker C720t Full Review

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The Mio C720T is Mio’s is the new top of the line Mio that combines the great features of the Mio C520 with a new TMC traffic cradle to offer what is finally becoming an important and more popular feature for those weary commuters who deal with traffic congestion on a daily basis. The widescreen unit features not only traffic alert and re-routing capabilities but Mio’s split screen capability with a tabbed interface that puts a lot of information at your fingertips while comfortably navigating along with the map displayed. The Mio C720T also includes a 2 Mega Pixel camera that allows you to grab pictures of things along the way. Hey if your cell phone has a camera, why can’t your GPS?

With Text-to-speech and Bluetooth handsfree capability the Mio C720T sits firmly in the premium segment, but like all Mios, the price is more comfortable than other units on the shelf.

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January 29, 2008

Geotagging Camera with HD Video - GE E1050

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GE is coming out with with a new GPS equipped camera that will allow you to geotag all of your photos. The new camera, the E1050 will automatically goe-encode your pictures with location information as long as it is able to grab a GPS signal, which will cover most outdoor situations and if my experience with GPS receivers using high sensitivity chips, many indoor situations too (single floor woodframe houses). The camera will also come equipped with a couple of other cool features:

  • Smile and Blink detection - If people blinked, it will automatically warn you after the shot.
  • HD video recording - It will record in 720P at 30 frames per second and will plug into your HDMI equipped TV without any dock.

It's a 10 MP camera and it's going to be available this spring for about $250 list price.

Via Yahoo! Tech

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Inrix Plans I-95/East Coast Project


Big news on Inrix today for those weary drivers who drive I-95 and a core part of the east coast on a regular basis. The WSJ is reporting that the I-95 Coalition will announce today that they are working with Inrix to provide traffic data along the east coast including 2,500-mile continuous stretch of I-95 from New Jersey to North Carolina. The move lends some credibility to the Inrix model that relies not only on road sensors but on anonymous GPS probe vehicles (think GPS equipped trucks, and fleet vehicles) to assess traffic speed.

This particular deal will have the Departments of Transportation receiving Inrix data, and displaying the information about incidents and more importantly traffic flow on their own internet sites, and road signage. The coalition will also be getting historical speed data too, which may help them plan differently giving related firms the intelligence to send out trucks when traffic is expected to be better, relieving congestion for the rest of us.

Inrix data will be collected and can be sent to you through the Clear Channel network to numerous GPS units using the TMC network, or the TomTom PLUS system using mobile phones as a data feed. Inrix data can also be had on TeleNav phone services.

The WSJ also reports that traffic jams cost Americans $78 billion in lost time and wasted gasoline. Think about that; it’s half of the proposed amount for those economy boosting checks that we hope will start showing up from the government this spring.

The article appears on page D5 today of the WSJ. Thanks Jim for sending this in.

Press Release Follows...

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Garmin Nuvi 780 - Now Shipping

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UPDATE: For More Information read my Full Review on the Garmin Nuvi 780 with MSN Direct 2

The newest Nuvi to the Nuvi 700 series is the Nuvi 780, which comes with the MSN Direct receiver and a trial subscription to the service.


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Announced just a few weeks ago at the CES 2008 show, the unit if full featured with a widescreen (4.3-inch), text to speech, and the expanded MSN Direct Version 2 which expands the services to include News, Stocks local events and "Send to GPS" capability from MSN Live Maps.

This Send to GPS feature can be especially helpful when doing searches on the internet and with a few clicks of the mouse, you can elect to send the location to your GPS. Go jump in the car and the location will show up under the "Web Favorites" button.

GPSNow is shipping the Garmin Nuvi 780 and had plenty in stock when I last checked. At Amazon - Nuvi 780 with MSN Direct 2

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January 28, 2008

GPS Market Share Changes - Big Moves Through Discounting

According to NPD, market share of the GPS market moved around a bit in the last three months of the year. The same big names were there, but the percentages moved. Sure the big loser in share is Garmin - they had the market share to lose.

Unit Share Oct - Dec 2007

Garmin - 37%

TomTom - 27%

Magellan - 19%

Dollar Share Oct - Dec 2007

Garmin - 45%

TomTom - 24%

Magellan - 15%

So What?

Since Garmin's dollar share is higher than its unit share, that says that they held higher average prices across the holidays. TomTom with their low prices on the TomTom ONE ($129 - $149) had temporary price reductions to gain market share during the quarter. Pretty shrewd. Garmin on the other hand discounted steadily, but now can afford a lower priced option (the Nuvi 200) that is selling online for about $185. Clearly their fuller high end sold well also.

Magellan was in a similar place to TomTom, discounts and lower priced units going through the sales channel.

The big deal for TomTom is that once they have the consumers in their brand, they may just see their consumers trade up to more expensive devices down the road, as they stay competitive with new innovations and smart marketing.

In the end, the earnings are coming out later in February; we'll see how the strategies paid off in terms of near-term profits. Did the expanding market lead to better profits for all? Long-term, the market will just get more competitive and better prices for better units.... stay tuned.

From 2006 - the numbers were a little different...

Dollar Share Oct - Dec 2006

Garmin - 57%

TomTom - 15%

Magellan - 12%

Unit Share Oct - Dec 2006

Garmin - 51%

Magellan - 15%

TomTom - 14%

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January 27, 2008

New Colorado-based Garmin RINO?

GarminColoradoRino.jpgFile this under total speculation and wishful thinking, but with the new Garmin Colorado handheld series hitting the store shelves, you have to hope that a new RINO upgrade will be coming that is based on the Colorado platform. The new Colorado has an improved interface, with a high resolution display for new better quality maps.

When I reviewed the RINO 530 CSx last year, I loved the functionality and thought that communicating with others in your party was great. Being aware of where you are and where others are, can make a big difference when enjoying the outdoors.

So if the Rino 530 CSx is based on the previous high end handheld, the GPSMap 60 CSx, why not have a RINO with the newest features available on the new Garmin high end handheld, the Colorado series?

My admittedly bad photo-shopping of the image will give you the general idea....

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January 26, 2008

Garmin Colorado - Now Available

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The new Garmin Colorado 300, 400i, 400c, 400t are now available at various outlets, marking the step change in Garmin's line-up for handheld GPS models. The new Colorado series offers a big screen and the ability to see high resolution maps (including some beautiful shaded relief maps), share routes and waypoints wirelessly, and optionally add on cadence and heart rate monitors if you choose to use the unit as an uber-fitness model. I have used my Garmin eTrex Vista C as my bike computer for a long time; works great and get me a lot more usable information about my rides than regular bike computers. Avid hikers might like to add the heart rate monitor to collect more data as they hike through hills and mountains allowing them to chart elevation versus their heart rate.

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January 23, 2008

TomTom to offer Gas Price Data from inrix

INRIX in partnership with TomTom today announced an agreement to provide INRIX traffic and fuel pricing services for TomTom portable navigation devices via TomTom PLUS in the US. TomTom previously announced this month its TomTom Fuel Prices Services, provided by OPIS via INRIX, and will be available in Q1 2008 for $14.95 per year for TomTom GO 920 and GO 920T users.

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PowerPlay P2000, P2200, P2800

EmpowerPND2000.jpgGot word today that there is a new company launching a GPS line into the market; Empower. They will be selling these under the brand name “PowerPlay”

All three new models feature a large 4.3” widescreen LCD touch panel:

  • P2000 the basic model which features navigation, bluetooth hands-free and traffic advisory data.
  • P2200 the photo unit that includes our basic unit’s features, with a built-in camera to take pictures while on a memorable outing.
  • P2800 the executive unit which includes our basic unit’s features, plus a wireless back up camera and iPod remote connectivity to enhance driving safety.


    The P2800 model is designed for safety-conscious drivers, enabling drivers to see behind their vehicle when backing up. The menu displayed on the P2800’s large LCD display also makes iPod song selection a breeze.

    Empower will also sell the three models under its own “PowerPlay” brand through its consumer sales channels. OEM manufacturers and retailers have already expressed interest in these products.

    The P2000 will be available for delivery in March. The P2200 and P2800 is slated for delivery in second quarter of this year. The suggested retail prices are: P2000 - $299, P2200 - $399 and P2800 - $499.

    More at their website - Empower

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  • Navigon TV Ad

    Navigon has seemed to get quite a bit of attention n the market this holiday season, and so I thought I would pass along a video of their recent TV ad.

    Just before Black Friday I posted my review of the Navigon 2100 GPS system; overall, not the best unit, but has certain aspects that are attractive, and several that are not. Check out my Full Review of the Navigon 2100.

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    Disney Testing GPS Based Nintendo Interactive Maps

    Disney is working again with a GPS based system for use in their parks, this time using a Nintendo DS game console. Recall they were using specially programmed mobile phones for a Kim Possible location based game last year. The idea is that you can use the DS as an interactive map that is location aware; not positive if it actually has GPS capabilities, but it certainly pinpoints your whereabouts. Once you have the map and your location you can also tap into a whole lot of information:

    You can click on the individual lands in the park and see instantly all the wait times. Let's use Liberty Square as an example. When you click on Liberty Square it will bring the land into full view. You can click on the Haunted Mansion and instantly see that it's wait time is twenty minutes. Click on the Liberty Tree Tavern and you can get a summary of their menu. From Around WDW News

    Hummmm, so if they can tell you the menu do they tell you the outrageous prices on the menu too?

    Via Tech Radar

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    January 22, 2008

    TeleNav in the UK

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    TeleNav, the mobile handset navigation software company, is expanding in the UK as they have announced a partnership with T-Mobile there. The software is available for download to your mobile handset allowing you to create routes and get turn by turn navigation. Not only can you create routes on the handheld, but you can also create routes online and then send those routes to your handheld.

    "There is no reason that anyone needs to invest in an expensive, in-car navigation system or a separate navigation device anymore," said Ian Tredgett, business director for TeleNav's European operations. "TeleNav GPS Navigator offers T-Mobile customers the same peace of mind and even more features. We developed our solution to exceed customer expectations, and we look forward to delighting T-Mobile customers with our commitment to service and satisfaction."



    While you're reading up on TeleNav, you should stop by their blog and enter to win $200 in Free Gas.



    More at TeleNav

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    January 21, 2008

    Dreevo Connected GPS


    DreevoPND.gif Add this one to the growing number of connected GPS units; the Dreevo PND. This from France, has some decent stats, and a yet to be proven capability. The unit has connected real-time speed camera positioning which is a pretty big feature for Europe, email messaging, and the all important traffic information. Its 4 inch widescreen formatted touch screen is the pathway to controlling this SiRF star III powered GPS. The Dreevo stays connected through a GSM/GPRS modem.

    Thanks Jim for sending this in.

    Dreevo Product Page

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    Tip: Don't Steal an ATM with GPS Tracking

    It seems that in Georgia a thief used a forklift to steal an ATM, and when bank officials informed the Police that the GPS tracking device was turned on, and working, the tracking device led them to a pick-up truck driving down I-85. The pick-up wouldn't pull over, and eventually took one corner too quickly, resulting in the heavy ATM shifting in the bed of the truck, and the truck turning over. The driver was not hurt and taken into custody.

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    Via Michelin to Quit GPS Market

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    Word out of Europe says that Via Michelin is going to quit the GPS markets there. No word on the status of the small offering here in the US. Via Michelin, known for their tires and to some extent in this country their travel guides, tried to make a go of it i navigation devices by offering their content on GPS navigation systems. It does not appear that they were able to get as far as they wanted with the markets.

    Magellan has taken a different track, by incorporating AAA (American Automobile Association) travel guide information in their navigation systems. So, while the AAA content is a nice ad-on, it's not the basis for its own GPS. Maybe Michelin will follow this strategy in Europe where their travel guides are well known and sell the content to another navigation device company. On the other hand, maybe connected GPS devices, makes this single source supply of travel information obsolete.

    And so, Via Michelin joins a growing number of companies that have tried to either get into the GPS market or have launched and failed, including Philips, JVC, and Cobra.

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    New Year's Resolution: Running with a Forerunner

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    With all of the new year's resolutions going on to get in shape, the Garmin Forerunner 305 is getting pretty popular. In fact it's one of the most popular GPS devices selling on Amazon. The Forerunner 305 offers an advanced design with a SiRF star III chipset inside to lock onto and hold onto satellites while running. The unit also comes with a heart rate monitor that can help you stay within specific conditioning zones. The unit easily downloads location, speed and heart rate information to your computer for record keeping and analysis. On top of this, you can also check out Garmin Connect, an online community that allows you to do further analysis and join the online community to share routes, and results.

    With the recent announcement of the Garmin Forerunner 405, which has a more watch like look, the Garmin Forerunner 305 is selling at a pretty good price.

    At Amazon - The Garmin Forerunner 305

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    January 19, 2008

    Nuvi 200W - $199 at Costco

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    Thought I would pass this along. Costco is selling the Nuvi 200W for $199 after a $50 price cut. Pretty good deal considering the Nuvi 200W is $224 on Amazon.


    The Nuvi 200W is a good entry level widescreen unit that comes equipped with continental US maps, spoken directions (but not Text to Speech - it doesn't say street names), and an easy interface that makes using a GPS a breeze.


    Check out my Full Review of the Nuvi 200W/250W.


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    January 18, 2008

    New User Tip - 4 Ways to Protect Your GPS from Thieves

    OK - so you have your new GPS, and you want to keep it. You may not know that they are also hot items for thieves. So while lots of people are realizing that GPS units are very helpful for navigation, thieves are realizing that a quick smash and grab makes for an easy to sell unit that can net a few hundred dollars without much work. The Boston Globe recently announced that GPS thefts in the city of Boston went up ~5X versus 2006. You need to protect yourself.

    Four Easy Tips to Avoid GPS Theft:
    1) Take the GPS and its mount off the windshield/dash and stow it.
    2) Take the GPS with you when you leave the car for an extra level of precaution.
    3) Consider wiping the suction cup marks off the windshield with a soft cloth – they can tip off thieves that there’s something valuable in the car.
    4) Instead of mounting on the windshield, consider using a friction mount on the dash to avoid the suction cup marks on the windshield altogether.


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    January 17, 2008

    Garmin Online - Recent Moves

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    Garmin is slowly creating a bigger web presence with new GPS launches. All of this is a little interesting as the world of the GPS experience continues to move online and give Garmin a little slice of the online pie. It's not about the GPS for some of these it's about the GPS as the tool to enjoy a better experience or explore a bigger world. For some it's another revenue stream. Games on a GPS, and Garmin Connect give the GPS Giant a small stream that supplements the money that they earn on the device. With the GPS become the "Razor" and the ads, subscriptions and other revenue streams that area associated with the GPS become the "Blades"? Who knows.

  • "Where I Go" - Think of it as Geocaching on steroids, when you get to a location you get a little easter egg playing for you on your device, giving you a small treasure, or maybe directions to the next location; all a grown up version of Geocaching. See the Whereigo website.

  • - Games on a GPS! - With the launch of the Garmin Nuvi 5000, Garmin also launched Games for the GPS. "OK kids stop playing with the GPS and let daddy figure out the directions to the cabin" Only a few games are available now, but more should be coming. See Garmin.com/games or My GPS Games.

  • Garmin Connect - The reincarnation of MotionBased, the start-up site that helped thousands post runs and bike rides for others with GPS units to enjoy. Track your progress online and see the results. see the Garmin Connect page. There is also a place where you can swap your motorcycle rides too - Zumo Connect

  • Send to My GPS - On the New MSN Equipped Nuvi 760 and 860, you will be able to connect with Windows Live and send information to your GPS over the MSN Direct network. Depending on how the deals are structured, Garmin could be getting into ad supported websites giving them a nice little check from Ad Words or similar. What advertiser wouldn't want to target people who are cruising a website, searching for things like "Hotels near Chicago", "Fine Dining near Concert Hall XXXX"? Get eyebalss, drive revenue.


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  • January 15, 2008

    Bobcat Revealed - Waypoint and Track Management for the Mac

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    Garmin announced that it has expanded its suite of Mac compatible applications to include waypoint, track, and route management. As with other Garmin applications, this new trip planning application is compatible with Mac OS X on Intel- and PPC-based Macs and may be used in conjunction with all Garmin USB devices. Maybe not as cool as a MacBook Air, but still good news for Mac folks.

    It's pretty good to see more and more applications coming for the Mac from Garmin. It was just 2 years ago when they announced that they were going to launch Mac compatible programs and devices. Since then we've seen a steady stream of news that they've converted one more application. It started with fitness based items first, and continues to the management of their main navigation device lines.

    Thanks to this new application, Mac users will now be able to transfer waypoints, tracks, and routes between their Mac and Garmin device and manage their data using Garmin's rich catalog of map products.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Bobcat Revealed - Waypoint and Track Management for the Mac"

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    January 14, 2008

    Garmin to Work with Panasonic - OEM Navigation

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    Garmin announced today that they will be working with Panasonic on projects to equip new cars with Panasonic navigations systems with "Garmin Inside" credentials. With the move to get more and more navigation systems on-board, it sounds like Panasonic is recognizing what I always say, it's easy to make a GPS system but it's hard to make a good GPS system.

    No news on who will take the new OEM effort, but they also added that they will also continue to work on their own products independently.

    Press Release Follows

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    January 12, 2008

    CES Round-Up - Where GPS is Going

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

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

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

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

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

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Extends Deal with BMW

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    Garmin announced that they are in a deal with BMW to add a navigator to the BMW line based on the Nuvi 360. I think that the design folks got involved when they weren't busy designing Starbucks Espresso machines, and sleeked this one up for the addition to the 1XX and 3XX series BMW cars. Recall they had a deal in the UK with BMW/Cooper Mini.

    Via Garmin Blog

    More after the jump...

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    January 11, 2008

    Forecast: Good Deals on GPS Units

    Don't know if you happen to watch the stock markets, but Wednesday, Garmin had a rocky day as an Analyst downgraded their stock. At one point the Garmin stock was trading below $68 after closing the previous day around $80. Might not matter if you don't own their stock, but the reason for the downgrade is significant to all consumers.

    Apparently this analyst was making their rounds at the CES 2008 show and in talking to the different companies, they got the feeling that TomTom was going to be aggressive in their pricing and markdowns this year to acquire market share, more so than Garmin. I am not going to get into a debate about the semantics of who will be more aggressive, but the bottom line is that the GPS market is getting more competitive, more brands are hitting the marketplace trying to differentiate themselves versus some strong competition, and setting a lower price is a way to get noticed.

  • Black Friday 2006 - Mio gets the Mio C310X offered at the then unheard of price of $149; exploding onto the US market as a result.

  • Black Friday 2007 - Navigon gets the Navigon 2100t offered for $99 with lifetime traffic; result is that they are claiming to be the fastest growing GPS brand in the US. Also, more directly to this issue, TomTom gets the TomTom ONE offered for $149 everywhere and less in some places; result is that demand outstrips supply - I understand that Amazon is still fulfilling orders from December.

    Pretty safe bet that the prices will continue to spiral down, and that fierce competition ahead will keep the bottom end of the market very volatile - in other words, better prices for me and you.

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  • January 10, 2008

    More on the Magellan Maestro Elite 5340 + GPRS

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    Magellan let a press release drop on the Maestro Elite 5340 + GPRS and it includes some detail that was lacking in the mainstream previously. The big ideas at work here are the fact that the Maestro 5340 and 5430+GPRS are big-screened (5-inch), have a new interface that includes a “One-Touch” command to make for simpler interactions, integrated Historical Average Speeds for more intelligent routing when traffic slows speeds on the roadways, and in some areas 3-D buildings to offer a better view of what’s around you. When you add the GPRS connectivity over the mobile phone network you also add connected search and a way to get traffic alerts to complement your historical average speed database. The connected search will get you things like weather, and hopefully a gas price search around you, as I found that service on the Nuvi 680 a very helpful capability.

    I am definitely looking forward to the next generation of connected units with the Historical Average speeds.

    Press Release after the jump...

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    January 8, 2008

    Garmin's "Bobcat" at MacWorld

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    Chet over at Garmin Blog is letting a little news out that they will be announcing something at the MacWorld conference coming up here in a week. Any you thought that the whole wad was shot at the CES show?

    Garmin made a solid Mac commitment, and has steadily moved towards making everything available in a mac compatible way. Any guesses? Probably not a GPS, but something in the fitness area might be cool... "Bobcat"; a small nimble forest runner? Apple wouldn't want to kill its deal with Nike+, but the Forerunner 405 is a pretty cool unit as is. Is it something that might run on the iPhone? Garmin Mobile adapted for the iPhone? If that is true, would it need to have a bluetooth GPS receiver, or is Apple stepping up and announcing a real GPS chip for the iPhone 2?

    Re real potential is just that Garmin has adapted the Garmin Mobile PC applicaiton for the Mac; Garmin Mobile Mac anyone?

    What's your guess?

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Navigon Fresh - Desktop Application to Keep GPS Up to Date

    NAVIGON announced the spring 2008 availability of NAVIGON Fresh in North America. This free, downloadable software application will provide all NAVIGON users with access to exclusive content and services, and support NAVIGON's user community with up-to-date product information and customer service support. NAVIGON Fresh automatically synchronizes home computers with NAVIGON GPS products via a USB connection, providing an easy-to-use platform to update and augment content.

    This will be good as it offers a more consistent signal that they are going to support their units. Recall that there was a mis-step in the launch of the current crop of units and we are awaiting a patch update. Looking forward to the Fresh launch.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Navigon Fresh - Desktop Application to Keep GPS Up to Date"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    NAVTEQ to work with Intellinav on Advanced Traffic GPS

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    NAVTEQ announced that Netropa is ready to put out its latest Intellinav models with both NAVTEQ(R) maps and NAVTEQ TRAFFIC PATTERNS. The new addition to the Intellinav line is the first PND to utilize NAVTEQ TRAFFIC PATTERNS, a rich database of historic traffic information. Finally, Historical Average Speeds appear ready to hit the market in the coming year.

    "Intellinav? Who Cares?" - I Do.

    You know, NAVTEQ, the Map supplier to Garmin? That's why this is significant. Don't get me wrong, I would love to use the Intellinav device, but to me this signals that the capability to launch a more sophisticated traffic unit by Garmin and other major providers of GPS systems.

    Historical Average Speeds are important because they allow the GPS device to recognize that highway speeds frequently don't go at posted speeds during rush hour, so taking historic speeds into account, the unit will be able to better route you when traffic is a factor. Historic Average Speeds can be had for most major roads.


    More on IntelliNav after the jump...



    ArrowContinue reading: "NAVTEQ to work with Intellinav on Advanced Traffic GPS"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Navteq - Traffic via HD Radio, Mobile Phones

    Setting the stage for what may become the year of the Smart GPS, traffic updates are finally looking like they are going to take the steps we have talked about for some time to jump into a new generation of higher bandwidth and more useful alters and data.

    Navteq has announced that they are ready to provide traffic information, weather and other location based information via an HD Radio stream. There was a trial of this capability last June, and one had to think that this was coming sooner than later. Using the HD Radio stream, allows them to send a lot more data to the units, meaning richer flow data (color coded roads, slow, medium fast flow), and more reason codes than the standard number offered on the RDS system.

    In related news, NAVTEQ announced that they will offer a new application that will deliver traffic updates, over mobile phones. The product is being demoed at CES.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Nav N Go - 3D Navigation comes to the US

    Nav n Go, makers of the iGo software platform are bringing the 3-D experience to the US with their announcement at CES. The high quality 3-D views of buildings and terrain is now available to manufacturers to include in their devices. A lot of device manufacturers use the Nav n Go software, like Mio, although the future of that is a little clouded with their references to quality NavMan software in their recent announcement of merging the two brands.

    The software also come bundled with games and an MP3 player. The video below should give you an idea of the capabilities.


    Via Mobile Magazine

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    January 7, 2008

    Avis Launches Updated Where2 GPS - Based on Nuvi 780

    Avis and Garmin announced that they are putting out an upgraded Where2 GPS for rental locations across the US. The unit is based on the Garmin Nuvi 780; a high end unit that is also equipped with MSN Direct services that will help business travelers get things done with traffic, weather and stock/news updates.

    In an interesting move, Avis is rolling out the ability to pre-program an SD chip using their website and when you pick up your Where2 GPS, you drop the card in it and you can now navigate to those pre-planned locations.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Avis Launches Updated Where2 GPS - Based on Nuvi 780"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    TomTom Customer Service Receives Award

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    Good news if you are a TomTom user, especially if you are one of the many thousands of new customers who might need a little help after getting a TomTom over the holidays. TomTom announced that it has been recognized for call center customer satisfaction excellence under the J.D. Power and Associates Certified Call Center Program. This distinction, the first of its kind in the portable GPS industry, acknowledges a strong commitment by TomTom's US call center operations to provide "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience". According to J.D. Power and Associates, TomTom has surpassed the rigorous standards of the certification process, exhibiting a solid commitment to customer satisfaction.

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom Customer Service Receives Award"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (6) | social bookmarking

    Magellan Maestro Elite 3270

    Magellan introduced the Maestro Elite 3270, which features the first state-of-the-art, flat-panel touch-screen display in the portable vehicle navigation industry. This essentially eliminates the plastic frame around the GPS and makes for a sleek new look.

    The compact 3.5-inch Maestro Elite 3270 unit features a seamless touch-panel that integrates the newest display technology for a highly responsive screen and an elegant, high-tech look. Even a light touch will instantly get users to the next screen with its high-sensitivity display. Magellan is the first GPS manufacturer to eliminate the plastic bezel housing common to portable navigation devices. The result is an edge-to-edge, completely flat touch display that gives the Maestro Elite 3270 a state-of-the-art, seamless surface with sensitivity and performance superior to anything else on the market today.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan Maestro Elite 3270"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Magellan RoadMates 1400, 1412, 1430 New Widescreens

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    Magellan is launching a new line of Roadmates that are sure to get a few looks. The 1400 series is a widescreen (4.3 inch) line that adds a stronger line-up at the low end with a base and then extended features as you climb up the line.

  • RoadMate 1400 - The unit starts with some base features we have seen in Magellan units like QuickSpell type ahead technology, a new menu, and NAVTEQ maps of the continental US, plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico, 1.3 Million POI, and has a list price of $299.

  • RoadMate 1412 - adds Maps for Canada and Alaska, Text to Speech, and has 6 million POI. List price of $349.

  • RoadMate 1430 - adds fully integrates traffic information through an integrated antenna in the plower plug!!! yes; nice move. List price $399.

    Press Release Follows.....

    ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan RoadMates 1400, 1412, 1430 New Widescreens"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Magellan Maestro 5310 Debuts Entry Level 5-Inch Biggie

    Magellan has announced their large screen line for CES, a 5 inch screen base entry unit that packs a lot into its thin unit with their AAA TourBook information, 6 million Points of Interest, and it pairs with a desktop companion that allows people to manage their maps and other information at their desktop.

    Magellan is targeting babyboomers who may want (need?) a larger screen and help navigating their way across town or across country in the big ol' Winnie. The Maestro 5310 will be available in Q2 for $699.

    Press Release Follows...

    ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan Maestro 5310 Debuts Entry Level 5-Inch Biggie"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Magellan RoadMates 1200, 1212, 1230 - New Std Screen GPS

    Magellan is launching a new line of Roadmates that are sure to get a few looks. The 1200 series is a standard screen (3.5-inch) line that adds a stronger line-up at the low end with a base and then extended features as you climb up the line. It parallels the Magellan 1400 series line-up which is the wider screen version of the 1200 series.

  • RoadMate 1200 - The unit starts with some base features we have seen in Magellan units like QuickSpell type ahead technology, a new menu, and NAVTEQ maps of the continental US, plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico, 1.3 Million POI, and has a list price of $229.

  • RoadMate 1212 - adds Maps for Canada and Alaska, Text to Speech, and has 6 million POI. List price of $299.

  • RoadMate 1230 - adds fully integrates traffic information through an integrated antenna in the plower plug!!! yes; nice move. List price $329.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Mio to Absorb the NavMan Brand

    Mio just announced that they are going to absorb the NavMan name in the US after buying the Navman company last February.

    "With the merger of the Mio and Navman brands, two complementary organizations have been brought together with a shared passion for delivering consumers the best navigation experience," said Samuel Wang, president, Mio Technology Corporation. "Mio Technology brings core competencies in hardware to the table, while Navman brings expertise in software and content, creating a new brand that is better able to create unique, innovative products and services."

    Either way, I'll be happy to bring you news and review of NavMan and/or Mio products going forward.

    Despite the merger, the Navman brand will continue to exist in select markets, including the United Kingdom, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    ZoomBak Dog And Car Locators

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    Zoombak has announced a new GPS Dog Tag and retrieval service to locate your dog once s/he is lost. The relatively small device fits in a pouch on the dog's collar and through the cellular system it gives you alerts and tracking of your pet through the internet.

    They also launched their car tracking device that in a similar way can track the vehicle and report back its whereabouts via mobile phone text alerts.

    Press release follows

    More at the ZoomBak website

    ArrowContinue reading: "ZoomBak Dog And Car Locators"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Sony Nav-U 73T and 83T

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    Sony is launching another Nav-U pair into the US market, the latest being models NV-U73T and NV-U83T. These models are being launched behind safety of the user. One of the features touted, isn’t even the GPS unit, it’s the suction cup mount. The suction cup makes what they call a virtually unmovable attachment due to the fact that it’s made with a flexible non adhesive gel that allows you to position the unit where it’s convenient.

    The Nav-U83T has another wider than widescreen size of 4.8 inches (4.3-inches on the Nav-U73T), that has a nice anti-glare coating to make it visible in most conditions. The unit also has a split screen design that shows upcoming intersections and detail about the next turn.
    A little sophistication on the chipset design front, as the Nav-U 83T has not only a SiRF star III GPS chip, but a pressure sensor, gyro and acceleration sensor to keep the GPS unit tracking while in tunnels and in urban canyons where even the SiRF chip might get lost (Not available on the Nav-U73T). Finally, the units feature a gesture control capability to help make frequent tasks as easy as a flick of the finger.

    The units will also have text-to-speech, branded icons, 5 million points of interest, and maps of US & Canada. The Nav-U83T will also have Bluetooth Handsfree calling capability.


    Pre-orders for the nav-u portable navigation devices are now being accepted at www.sonystyle.com/navu. The devices are expected to be available in early spring direct at www.sonystyle.com, at Sony Style retail stores nationwide, at military base exchanges, and at authorized dealers around the country. The NV-U73T and NV-U83T models are expected to sell for about $350 and $500, respectively.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Sony PSP- GPS Capability Coming to US

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    Finally, Sony has decided to bring the GPS peripheral for the PSP to the US. It has been on the Japanese market for some time now. According to the Sony CES website, they say, "Your PSP will provide 2D/3D locations, driving directions, POI's, and even downloadable city guides. With an easy search feature and customizable settings, GPS on PSP is the easiest way to navigate new areas and new cities."

    So the software will be available through the UMD.


    Via

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 6, 2008

    Connected GPS Unit Roadmap - The Next Generation

    With the recent announcement of Magellan joining the ranks of connected GPS makers with their announcement of the Magellan Maestro Elite 5340 + GPRS, I thought it was time to take a step back and look at what's going on in the next generation of the GPS market and see how things are shaking out.


    There are four main benefits of having a connected GPS:
    1. Map Updates can be gathered from and sent down to the fleet of GPS units.
    2. Operating system updates can be sent down to the unit
    3. Traffic reporting is enhanced due primarily to the increased bandwidth and flexibility of the cellular network, and the fact that you are now a "traffic condition probe", collecting data for others to use.
    4. Connected search and interactivity of the unit to the internet to provide a more intelligent device.


    Where did it all start and what's the product map look like?

    ArrowContinue reading: "Connected GPS Unit Roadmap - The Next Generation"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Pioneer AVIC-F500BT - 5.8-inch Screen, Voice Command

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    Another GPS is dropping here around CES, the Pioneer AVIC-F500BT, with a pretty big 5.8-inch screen and speech recognition. The unit is a standard GPS with come nice audio features built in. The USB port allows you to plug in an iPod, or other MP3 device. It has Bluetooth handsfree capabilities to boot. The voice recognition is apparently for the Audio integration and not the navigation control. Oh, well.

    Via

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Cobra NavOne 5000 - 5-inch Screen, Branded Icons

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    Cobra is expected to unveil their Cobra NavOne 5000 at CES, which was curiously pre-announced last year at CES 2007. The NavOne is an interesting unit with a larger 5.0-inch screen - super sized, and it also comes with a verified red light and speed camera database. With the extra size screen comes some extra sized maps and some larger fonts so that people who mount their GPS units farther away, will be able to see it better.

    It comes with TeleAtlas Maps of the US and Canada, as well as Text to Speech, 7.6 million POI and the option to show any of the about 600 branded icons on the screen as you drive down the road. The unit also has an optional traffic receiver and the ability to offer you two alternate routes should you hit traffic.

    At Amazon - The Cobra NavOne 5000

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Magellan 5340 + GPRS - Connected GPS

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    Magellan is working with Google for their launch of a cellular networked (GPRS) GPS, that will be announced at CES 2008. The announcement is key and sets them up for taking part in the next generation of connected GPS units. This connectivity will allow you to search while on the road in databases other than the included listing of Points of Interest. Expect it to hit shelves in March.

    Dash navigation broke the news on this type of connected device over a year ago, and their unit is able to integrate with an online "My Dash" webpage where you are able to do certain searches, and send results to your GPS over the cellular network. While on the road, you are able to search Yahoo Local for results in typical search patterns (i.e. Sushi), and not just search for places by their business name. Magellan is expected to follow with their own web tool to send results to your GPS.

    No word on advanced traffic capabilities, but I fully expect them to have the advanced capabilities that Dash offers. In my mind this is the big reason Dash will be attractive. These capabilities include historical average speeds and a higher bandwidth for pumping down current traffic conditions including traffic flow data.


    Why would this traffic inclusion be significant?

    Dash is working with TeleAtlas, who is working with Inrix for their historical traffic data. However, Magellan works with NAVTEQ, who bought Traffic.com, and the inclusion of historical traffic data would signal to me that this capability is also open to the other key user of NAVTEQ maps; Garmin.

    Look for more news on Connected GPS in the coming days.

    Thanks Jim for sending this in.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 5, 2008

    Goodyear GPS to Launch Eight GPS Units


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    Goodyear tire has lent their brand for use on a line of fairly advanced GPS units being announced at CES 2008. The line-up looks pretty sophisticated with MSN direct capabilities in the higher end. The new line of eight GPS units will go from the small keychain unit (GY100K) up to the GY540 a 4.3 inch widescreen unit that has a lot of bells and whistles. The design elements on these is interesting and appears from the renderings that they will have a multi-textured exterior with some having a design element of tire tread.... humm, is that an all season tread or a summer only deal? The units are going to be available in Q2 2008.

    People familiar with Mio and other manufacturers will recognize the iGo interface on the unit, a software company that has been manufacturing navigation software for a while now. I think that it's one of the better interfaces, but this is the first time I have seen it integrate MSN Direct features.

    Engadget is reporting on the featuresets of the line (after the jump).

    ArrowContinue reading: "Goodyear GPS to Launch Eight GPS Units"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi 260 Give Away Winner

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    We're happy to announced that Woody from Olympia Washington is the winner of our Garmin Nuvi 260 Holiday Giveaway. Woody says that he's pretty happy to add one of the latest Garmin GPS units, the Nuvi 260, to his collection of Garmin GPS units. A Garmin man through and through.

    He says that he stops by GPS Lodge to check in on news and reviews on GPS units.

    Well, as we come into CES 2008, there's a lot to follow, so you should all come back and check out GPS Lodge daily, and subscribe to our mailing list, because you never know when we might be giving away another GPS and so you can get GPS information delivered to your inbox every Monday morning.

    Enter your Email


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    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    January 4, 2008

    TomTom $100 off GiveGive Sale Ends Tomorrow!

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    The GiveGive $100 off TomTom sale ends Saturday 1/5, so if you are interested in a new TomTom, grab the deals now. The $100 off sale is driving the TomTom ONE 3rd edition to #1 in sales at Amazon. The $100 off deal extends across other models too.


    At Amazon

  • TomTom ONE - $149
  • TomTom ONE XL- $249 - widescreen
  • TomTom ONE XL-S- $299 - adds Text to Speech
  • TomTom GO 720- $399 - adds Bluetooth and recordable voices plus branded POI icons
  • TomTom GO 920- $488 - Adds Euro Maps and Voice Command
  • TomTom GO 920T- $599 - Adds traffic updates

    Check out our Comparison post on the TomTom Line

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • BikeGPSTracking - Motorcycle GPS Tracking

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    BikeGPSTracking™, a leading provider of GPS tracking and theft recovery products today announced the availability of the first low cost GPS tracking unit for motorcycles, off road vehicles, and ATV's. This GPS tracking unit offers many customer requested features at a fraction of the cost of comparable tracking solutions.

    "The launch of our MC242 GPS Motorcycle Tracking Unit gives motorcycle and ATV owners the peace of mind in knowing their property is protected at a very affordable price," said Mark Wells, President & CEO of BikeGPSTracking. "With the average price of GPS motorcycle tracking units being well over $500, we are able to leverage our technology leadership and bring the hardware cost down to $349."

    BikeGPSTracking is also offering 2 optional accessories, a tether switch or panic button and a vibration sensor. If a rider is thrown from their bike the tether switch will send an emergency alert via SMS (text message) or an email message to specified recipients. Pressing the panic button will also generate a similar emergency alert. The vibration sensor alerts when a motorcycle is moved more than 100 yards while the ignition is off making theft recovery much faster.

    The MC242 Motorcycle Tracking Unit offers the following features:

    * Alerts when the ignition is turned on or off
    * Tether switch if rider is thrown from motorcycle
    * Vibration sensor if a motorcycle is moved
    * Unlimited, continuous GPS tracking throughout the USA and Canada
    * Ability to set Geofence and speed alerts


    BikeGPSTracking is also offering low cost service plans as low as $5.95 per month and offer an additional 20% discount for annual pre-payment. The MC242 GPS Motorcycle Tracking Unit is available at www.bikegpstracking.com.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 3, 2008

    CES 2008: Garmin Nuvi 880/850

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    UPDATE: MSN Direct will stop service January 1, 2012 - buyer beware that the traffic and other information services will not work after that date.
    Garmin announced the new nuvi 880, a premium portable navigation device with cutting-edge speech recognition, dynamic MSN Direct content, and an impressive array of other convenience and safety features. Big stuff.

  • Voice Recognition - A little different; you need to push a small mountable button to get the Nuvi to "Listen", but it uses an algorithms to use Voice Controls to do some great things.... say "Find Nearest Italian Restaurant" or "Find Nearest Starbucks", and it will search through the POI listings to get a list for you.

  • MSN Direct with new features like News and stocks, Local events and "Send to your GPS from your computer in addition to the Movie, Weather and Gas prices info that has already shown up on MSN Direct models.

  • It seems like Garmin is using SiRF's new InstantFixII technology here as they say that "At startup Garmin's new "instant on" feature makes the unit quicker to use."

  • I am not a huge fan of FM transmitters for playing music over the stereo, but it looks like Garmin is getting hipper as they are offering their music player that can read MP3, Ogg, and Flac formats.

    Garmin also offers the Nuvi 850, which offers speech recognition capabilities but without MSN Direct services or Bluetooth wireless technology.


    More below...

    ArrowContinue reading: "CES 2008: Garmin Nuvi 880/850"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking
  • CES 2008: Garmin Nuvi 780

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    UPDATE: For More Information read my Full Review on the Garmin Nuvi 780 with MSN Direct 2
    Garmin announced the nuvi 780 -- the newest addition to the popular nuvi family and the most powerful in its acclaimed 700 series. This is not just a Nuvi 700 series with MSN Direct, as it represents some new features plowed into the MSN Direct service that is pretty cool and expands on their desirable offerings. I reviewed the Nuvi 680 with MSN Direct a year ago right after it was announced at CES 2007, and it was great just for the gas price functionality. Read my Full Review of the Nuvi 680. For more info on the Nuvi 700 series read my Full Review of the Nuvi 750/760/770.

    Now You can also get Local events like festivals in the area, News and Stocks, and Send to GPS capability which allows you to plan trips from your computer and send the information to your Nuvi 780.

    ArrowContinue reading: "CES 2008: Garmin Nuvi 780"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    CES 2008: Garmin Nuvi 260W

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    Garmin announced the nuvi 260W, a simple-to-use widescreen personal navigation device (PND) that speaks street names. It's not a big surprise that since Garmin introduced the Nuvi 200/250 line and then the 200W and the 250W line, that the Nuvi 260 would be follow-up by a widescreen version too. (Um, where's the Nuvi 270W with Euro Maps?) What is too bad is that this wasn't in the mix for the Holiday 2007 season, as a lot of people are turning onto the benefits of Text to Speech and would have loved to have had this as a product to consider.

    We gave away a Garmin Nuvi 260 as part of our holiday festivities, and I think that the value line with TTS is a great product entry from a trustworthy name like Garmin.

    ArrowContinue reading: "CES 2008: Garmin Nuvi 260W"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking

    CES 2008: Garmin Nuvi 5000 - Super Size Me!

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    So Garmin has been in the BIG screen segment before with the 7-inch screened Garmin StreetPilot 7200, but with market pressures driving costs down and features into the units, it's time to revisit the big screen for the everyman.

    Garmin announced a new series of nuvi navigators designed specifically for those seeking premium navigation features on a large, 5.2-inch touchscreen display. Those premium features include a choice of MSN Direct data feeds or TMC Traffic feeds, Video input for back-up cameras, MP3/Audiobook player, and route optimization. Not bad, but no THX Certified Surround Sound?

    ArrowContinue reading: "CES 2008: Garmin Nuvi 5000 - Super Size Me!"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

    CES 2008: Garmin Forerunner 405

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    Garmin announced the Forerunner 405 -- the latest in Garmin's popular line of GPS-enabled fitness devices, packing powerful functions and innovative features into a compact size like none other. The smaller form factor, based on the Garmin Forerunner 50, a watch style form factor, allows for a lot of capability in a small easy to use shape. Unlike the Forerunner 50, the unit does contain a GPS chipset, and unlike any other GPS the Forerunner 405 interacts with a touchscreen, reminiscent of the iPhone. Gestures and swirls control the interface and give you the ability to create new workouts or access their workout history. Very cool.

    Below is a video from Garmin Blogs....


    ArrowContinue reading: "CES 2008: Garmin Forerunner 405"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    CES 2008: Garmin Colorado 400T, 400i, 400C and 300

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    Garmin introduced the Colorado series of handheld GPS devices for outdoor, marine and fitness enthusiasts. With the addition of Garmin's revolutionary Rock 'n Roller(TM) wheel, you really can operate its many features with just one hand -- most with just one thumb. The devices were announced in preparation for the 2008 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This confirms the rumors posted here back in December.

    400T - ("?Topo") Geared towards the Hiker with 3D mapping perspective. - $599
    400i - (Inland Water) Shows lake and river contour lines. - $599
    400C - (Coastal) Coverage of the coastal waters for US and Bahamas. - $599
    300 - Shows a world map with shaded relief maps. - $499

    ArrowContinue reading: "CES 2008: Garmin Colorado 400T, 400i, 400C and 300"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    CES 2008: Garmin Mobile PC

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    Garmin has also released a PC software package that allows users to take that laptop of yours and turn it into a Garmin navigation device. Don't need the Garmin GPS 20X sensor? Use your old Garmin eTrex lying around with the software only version. The laptop will give you turn-by-turn directions, and will include some pretty cool PC-only features called "Route Shaping features".

  • Users can select specific roads they want to travel and customize their route to avoid certain roads and geographic areas. (Can I get this on my Nuvi!?!?!?!?!)

    Drivers wanting to keep track of their previous route can utilize the track log feature and see an electronic bread crumb trail that shows exactly where they traveled. Garmin Mobile PC also includes a trip computer automatically records trip data.

    ArrowContinue reading: "CES 2008: Garmin Mobile PC"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • January 2, 2008

    SiRF to Eliminate GPS Satellite Acquisition Lag - SiRF InstantFixII

    SiRF announced some news this morning that will make using a GPS a lot better, and it involves limiting that acquisition time to get a satellite fix, known as Time to First Fix, to as little as five seconds. The new capabilities, SiRFInstantFixII, will be included on SIRF Star III chipsets and allows the chipset to model where the satellites will be in the sky for up to three days into the future.

    A little basic info here: The GPS' job is a pretty tough one, with satellites sending out time stamped signals once every 30 seconds, the GPS has to lock onto a signal from at least three, preferably four or more satellites figuring out what the time lag is on that signal, and as a result calculating the distance from the GPS to that satellite. Without something like Instant Fix, the GPS has to search the entire sky noticing signals and checking time lags. With Instant Fix, it will know that the certain satellite will be in a specific position so it will only look there instead of everywhere.... speeds the process way up. TomTom and others have this type of service, but it requires you plugging the GPS into a computer and downloading those satellite location predictions every week or so.

    The press release below has a quite from Mio's President, so I would look for Mio units at CES to include the new chipsets.

    Press release follows...

    ArrowContinue reading: "SiRF to Eliminate GPS Satellite Acquisition Lag - SiRF InstantFixII"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Alpine PND-K3 MSN and K3 GPS

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    Alpine is having another go at the GPS world with a new line of two GPS Units, with this leaked information. The first is Alpine PND-K3MSN, which comes equipped with the MSN Direct capability that is present in the Garmin Nuvi 680 that was launched last year – See my Full Review of the Nuvi 680. The MSN Direct technology on the Alpine PND-K3MSN offers not only traffic coverage, but weather, gas prices, and movie times. The unit comes with a 4.3-inch widescreen, maps of the US and Canada, and 6 million points of interest.

    The PND-K3 is the same model, without the MSN Direct features. I would imagine that we’ll see more at CES 2008 in a few days.

    Via Gizmodo

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    DeLorme TOPO USA 7.0

    DelormeTopoUSA70
    The new DeLorme Topo USA 7.0 software is out and it’s packed with new features, making it a great tool for trip planning and general interest use. I have personally used both DeLorme Street Atlas and DeLorme Topo a lot for planning hiking trips and road trips on both bike and by car for a long time. I have seen them packed with capability that is hard to beat, and just when you think that you couldn’t learn any more about its power, there’s another twist to be discovered.

    Available with or through download the new Topo USA 7.0 has six types of maps/charts, including aerial imagery, NOAA nautical charts and USGS high resolution surveys and imagery, which is in addition to the previously available USGS 1:24,000 quads, USGS b&w aerial imagery, and 10-meter color satellite imagery. You get $100 worth of download credits when you buy the map package.

    Handheld GPS users will be happy to display their GPS tracks and routes on the maps as an overlay. From the Topo USA 7.0 you can create routes, waypoints and tracks that can be uploaded to your NMEA GPS, which means not only the DeLorme PN-20, but Garmin and Magellan handhelds too. Going the other way, routes, tracks and waypoints can then be taken off the GPS and turned into routable roads or trails within Topo USA 7.0.

    Geotagging
    Topo USA 7.0 is a geotagging tool also, with the ability to match up the time stamp on the camera and your handheld GPS to display photos on the map where you took them. Makes for a fun way to create a very useful tool to both enjoy your trip and document key features of areas that you visit.

    Geocaching
    The Topo USA capabilities are improved here too, as they can not only import gpx and loc files, but you can now you can import full Geocache descriptions with the hints preserved.

    PN20_Topo7_button.jpgThere's more than I can write about here. The TOPO USA 7.0 comes alone or bundled with the DeLorme PN-20 handheld GPS that can also display downloaded maps and aerial imagery.

    For more information on the TOPO USA 7.0 software or the PN-20 handheld GPS, see the Delorme.com website.

    Also at Amazon - DeLorme TOPO USA 7.0

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Garmin - "The World Leader in GPS Technology"

    newgarminlogo.jpg

    Motley Fool has a pretty interesting quick look at why they believe that Garmin is "the" leader in the GPS world; strongest margins, best growth rates, biggest share, etc. I am only a casual markets person, but from what I see those numbers are pretty impressive.

    What I found impressive thinking back is the growth rate that has been sustained on Garmin (and other's) sales for the last few years (Check out some old Earnings Announcements); essentially ever since I started this blog. So while some think that the GPS market has just exploded in recent quarters, their growth rates were still high previously. What are the numbers going to look like once GPS firms report on the 4th quarter of 2007? A year ago it was 100% profit growth on 92% earnings growth.

    I can't tell you if Garmin is a good stock to buy, but see the Motley Fool on why they think that Garmin is "The" World Leader in GPS Technology.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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