April 30, 2009
OK, so I'll bite, the news on the coconut telegraph moves quickly and the rumor out there from my sources is that Navigon is about to cease operations in the US, shrunk its workforce and should be announcing this soon. If I were the NYT, I would have double checked, but hey, we're not, so we'll post this as a rumor and then we'll seek to confirm later. It is coming in from multiple sources at this point with some well placed people, but I will still put this out as a rumor until I see or hear differently.
If it is true, it would underscore the gravity of the economy, and the arduous market entry for a third player during these tough times. Navigon is no slouch, but they have not taken off yet with a slew of new introductions. We will see how this plays out.
April 30, 2009
Inrix has upped coverage again but this time for the flow enabled roads. So, while they cover incident and status on many more miles across the US, they are reporting that they now cover over 160,000 miles of roads for flow information. This is key to figuring out more precise travel time information, allowing your device or software service to get more accurate information on which to base routing and travel time decisions.
You may have seen the announcement Monday of Microsoft selecting INRIX traffic to enhance its voice-activated local search service, Live Search 411. Consumers can access this expanded coverage data through hundreds of applications and portable navigation devices such as the new Ford SYNC with Traffic, Direction and Information, MapQuest, AT&T Navigator and TomTom.
Full Press Release after the jump......
Continue reading: "Inrix Triples Flow Coverage - over 160,000 Miles in 126 Markets"
April 23, 2009
I have seen a lot of Fidelity ads lately and it struck me that we have entered another era of acceptance of the GPS. When I started this Blog, not a lot of people knew what a GPS was, let alone want to shell out several hundred dollars for one (recall the first Nuvi, the first flat GPS had a list price of $900+).
The first turn for me was when GPS units were actually on the first page of the circulars for Black Friday - something a lot of people wanted and that would bring the crowds in. That happened in 2007. With this new campaign from Fidelity that uses a navigation icon that is most similar to a Navigon interface, I think that they realize that everyone in their target audience gets the idea of setting the right direction and letting Fidelity navigate you there. Four years ago, the metaphor would have been missed, today it is second nature. Wonder where we'll be in four years.
April 22, 2009
Let's face it, these things don't last forever, and if you are like me, the pie of old electronics is stacking up in the closet. Recently I have seen a lot of movement in the recycling area for electronics, including GPS units so I thought I would pass some ideas along. So, hey, It's Earth Day why not dig those old electronics out of the closet and make a difference.
BestBuy - No charge for most electronics, buy laptops, TVs and monitors under 32" require a $10 fee, but you also get a $10 Gift Card in return. Short list of things they don't take at their Recycling Page
RadioShack - More of a trade-in program that offers you money in the form of a Radio Shack gift card in return for your gently used electronics. You input your unit's model number, answer a few questions on its condition and get an appraisal. I ran a Nuvi 350 through in good condition and it was worth about $28. Not a lot, but better than nothing. Free shipping too. See their Trade in program page for more details.
NextWorth - This website will appraise your electronics, and once cleared and checked out, will send you a gift card to either Amazon.com or Target or a check or cash via PayPal. I checked out the same Nuvi 350 and they offered $36, which at the end of the check-in screens, they offer a rpe-paid shipping label to slap on your stuff and send it off. They just started doing GPS units, so to me, this looks like a great deal compared to the other ones. 1) They pay you, 2) You are not limited to credit at one store and 3) seems pretty easy to do with pre-paid mailing labels. Check Out NextWorth at their website
April 17, 2009
Garmin is bringing back the big screen to their Nuvi line with the Nuvi 1490T, a 5-inch screen unit that is packed with features in their new ultra thin platform design that is 25% thinner than recent Nuvi units.
The Nuvi 1490T comes with Bluetooth, free lifetime traffic alerts, speed limit notifications on the screen, ecoRoute gas saving capabilities, the new pedestrian mode allowing for routing based on pedestrian only areas, and the ability to automatically switch time zones when traveling across the country; a big hit with road trippers.
At Amazon - Garmin Nuvi 1490/1490T
Full press release follows......
Continue reading: "Garmin Nuvi 1490T Big Screen GPS"
April 15, 2009
Rightway GPS has announced a Dale Earnhardt Jr GPS called the Spotter, complete with Dale Jr's voice or many of the messages you'll be hearing driving down your little piece of racetrack. The unit does have text to speech so it will say street names, presumably in a computer's voice.
Pre-sale at their website now for $229. Can't vouch for the quality here though.....
Continue reading: "Dale Earnhardt Jr GPS"
April 13, 2009
The Aptera is making its rounds as a three wheeled "car" that offers an outrageously aerodynamic shape, and gets about 100 miles per charge. The new aerodynamic shape makes it slip through the air without a lot of energy consumption.
What I thought was cool was it's navigation system shown here in the middle of the shot; tap on past destinations to add them to the route and let it optimize the route for you. The nav system is connected via GSM and allows you to "dump your Google calendar" down to the vehicle. Now you're talking... what else?
April 10, 2009
Like the movie Marley & Me? Here's your chance to download a "Marley" icon for your Garmin GPS. Downloading and installing these are easy, and Garmin has some good directions to walk you through it.
Get your Marley icon at the Garmin Garage where you'll also find all kinds of other icons for your compatible navigator.
April 9, 2009
Thanks to reader Brie for leaving this comment about her new Forerunner 405CX. Looks like it's time to hit the road, get out and run. Thanks Brie for dropping by GPSLodge.
"Just got the 405cx yesterday and just to let everyone know...it's awesome! I'm a small woman and the included small size velcro wrist strap is perfect and makes this bulky watch incredibly comfy! My husband immediately put his Polar 625x back in the box and ordered a 405cx to match! How cool is it to have a GPS on your wrist? One down side I found out was that the new 405cx won't be able to upload to Garmin Connect till about late May but that's what you get for buying right out of the shoot - the desktop software works great so I don't know if I'll even use the Garmin Connect web software but FYI.
I don't think there is really that much difference between the 405 and the 405cx but I'd have paid the extra $20 for the new wrist straps anyway and I like blue. I do kind of miss how my Nike+ used to over-estimate my calories burned...oh well, one less yogurt per day won't kill me I guess :) I am having too much fun creating all kinds of interval/time/HR runs and now I can't wait to just go run them!
I bought this after my half marathon last weekend because my husband is a huge believer in knowing your heart rate at all times and he is convinced I'm going to drop dead if I don't know mine. I never cared before but now I'm a total data hound. It only took two days and now I'm trying to figure out exactly how many ounces of sweat I lose per mile. Progress?? Perhaps. Anyway, loving my new toy - we're getting along just fine now that I have watched every video on youtube about how to program and run it - critical since it doesn't come with an instruction book that tells anything but how to charge it."
At Amazon - Garmin Forerunner 405CX
Garmin has announced that they are going to be the OEM supplier to in-dash navigation for the Jeep grand Cherokee at the Chrysler corporation. The move is a big one for them, and could signal a change and a recognition that having branded navigation is a value add, to the overall car much like a Bose branded stereo. I think it brings the opportunity to get a well honed and well supported navigation system into the car making for a well understood and high quality experience for Jeep buyers without the added expense and engineering on the car maker's part.
While navigation is usually a hefty option on new cars, this is said to be an "affordable" option with a 6.5" screen.
Full press release below.....
Continue reading: "Garmin: Factory Install on Jeep Grand Cherokee"
April 8, 2009
Came across this interesting feature the other day in the Boston Globe and thought I would pass it on. Sure there are businesses doing this kind of stuff, but I thought that it was unusual for a local newspaper to offer an audio guided road tour via GPS.
The tour covers some of the north shore of Massachusetts, and can be downloaded to a Garmin or a TomTom as long as they have the ability to playback the audio (Most TomTom's and Garmin's with MP3 capability). The tour takes you on a navigation trip through several seaside towns along the north shore offering a little history lesson as you go.
The tour is actually hosted by Geovative solutions, which offers numerous tours around the globe for GPS units. They offer the ability for you to create your own tour, upload it and share it with the world; all for free. They also offer premium content for a fee, sometimes only a $1.99.
April 6, 2009
Magellan is shipping a new line of RoadMate units, starting with the 4.7-inch screened RoadMate 1470, to the 4.3-inch screened RoadMate 1440, and the standard size 3.5-inch screened 1340, all featuring the OneTouch interface that simplifies the entry and navigation selections of where you want to go.
The line features a lot of power in a slim package, with highway lane guidance, and highway signs giving you clear instructions when you encounter confusing highway interchanges.
Magellan continues with the AAA bundled information that gives you insight and reviews on locations including restaurants and lodging. the one feature that I have come to like is Highway Exit POI's - giving you a quick look at what's at the next exit, glad to see Magellan has this rolled in.
Currently available at Amazon:
Full Press Release follows......
Continue reading: "Magellan Announces RoadMate 1470, 1440, and 1340"
The new Sony HDR-TG5V HD camcorder has a built in GPS receiver that allows you to geotag your photos and movies so that you can not only see where you took them, but share the location information with others when you share the movies. The camera also knows what time zone you are in an automatically sets the clock to your location. The camera is loaded with NAVTEQ maps and will display your location on the camera's screen.
April 5, 2009
UPDATE: I just heard from Mio clarifying that they are not walking away from the US market with the Mio brand. They appear to be getting into select channels with new modesl coming in May. they said:
"In response to the article published in GPS Business News entitled "Mio closing business in the US" on April 3, 2009, Mio announced that the company will continue the sales in the North American market. Mio will offer products in selected channels and launch new products in May. Mio emphasize that the company will also continue to deliver sleek, easy-to-use portable navigation devices to the market, and also accelerate the development of a variety of innovative GPS-based lifestyle products that extend the user experience well beyond traditional PNDs."
According to GPS Business News, Mio has shut its doors on the US operation, a victim of the economy and a series of misses with consumers for their recent releases. We've come a long way from the launch and great success of the Mio 310X that was a hit on Black Friday 2006. Mitac, Mio's parent swallowed up a pioneer in the business, Magellan, and I would imagine that they will innovate through that brand in the US market.
No Need for Mio
The prices on GPS units have fallen so much in the last 2 years, that there is no room for a lower priced brand under the big names. When Garmin and TomTom had their units at $350, a 15% savings was meaningful and worth the trade-off. With prices over the holiday period at $99, there was hardly room for a value play underneath them. Mio has taken an innovation track lately, offering bigger, better features instead of stripped down market entry only units. They will need this strategy to survive.
Mio is still a large global player, and I would assume, their parent company, Mitac a large contract manufacturer of GPS units for other brands. I am confident that we'll see Mitac stay in the US market if the economy comes back, but in what form I don't know. With new competition from other strong players like Navigon, they'd better not let Magellan slip too far.
This hit the wire last week, that TomTom has selected TrafficCast for the traffic service that will roll out with the TomTom GO 740 LIVE that is now available.
OK did this surprise you? Yea, it surprised me, as well as a lot of readers who wrote in. The presumptive leader in traffic is Inrix, and to not have them a part of something this big, is a bit of a surprise. Kudos to TrafficCast for the work to get this, and the complex data crunching of their DynaFlow 2.0 engine will be offering traffic reads for the new connected TomTom GO in the US. For more insight into how TrafficCast works, check out my Q&A a few months ago with TrafficCast CEO Connie Li. I look forward to checking it out on the new TomTom.
Full Press Release below
Continue reading: "TrafficCast Snags TomTom GO 740 LIVE Service"
April 2, 2009
Garmin has announced a new Forerunner, the Forerunner 310X that is heart and sole made for multi-discipline athletes who want to get the most out of GPS fitness tracking across a few different scenarios. The one that comes to mind is the Triathlon, which has you transitioning from the swim to the bike to the run.... and until now, your Forerunner couldn't reliably come with you. People have been using them, but up until now use on the swim leg wasn't always good for the Forerunner. The New Forerunner 310X is designed to do just this, water resistant to 50 meters, with wireless heart rate monitor that will soon be available with a soft chest strap, a vibrate function that can alert you while exercising that you have reached milestones, and has a battery life up to 20 hours. After the workout, you can connect to your PC or Mac wirelessly via the ANT+ technology to download your workouts to your machine to analyze and store them.
The Garmin Forerunner 310X should be available this summer.
Full Press Release after the jump......
Continue reading: "Garmin Forerunner 310X - the For-Triathlon GPS"
Garmin announced the new Forerunner 405CX also today as a top of the line intelligent fitness device that uses a complex algorithm to help you accurately count calories burned while working out. The unit not only features the same great, attractive GPS-based capabilities, but also a new calorie counting feature that uses an algorithm that detects changes in your heart rate during aerobic activity to better calculate the end result. The Forerunner 405CX still keeps the thin profile and a touch bezel to control the system that is so popular with the very watch-like high tech device.
The Forerunner 405CX should be available tis summer, and will be on display at the Boston Marathon in a couple of weeks.
Full Press Release after the jump.....
Continue reading: "Garmin Forerunner 405CX - New Calorie Counting Fitness GPS"
April 1, 2009
TomTom announced a new set of entry level units that really up the value equation on the entry level end of their line-up. The new TomTom ONE and ONE XL units offer North American maps Now with Mexico preloaded, and IQ Routes - TomTom's way of giving their GPS unit a little more intelligence when dealing with traffic. With IQ Routes, the TomTom will understand that historically traffic is heavy or light on that particular rod at that time of day and calculates that into the road choice equation. An advanced feature that was only previously available on the GO line. The new TomTom ONE 140 and XL 340 line up also includes a new interface, over 7 million Points of Interest, Help Me! button and Map Share access.
The TomTom ONE 140 ($179) and ONE 140S ($199) are standard screen units, with the "S" version offering Text to Speech. The TomTom ONE XL 340 ($229) and ONE XL 340S ($249) are in the wide screen (4.3-inch) with the "S" version having text to speech. They are available this month.
More info in the press release after the jump....
Continue reading: "TomTom ONE 140/140S and ONE XL 340/340S"