March 30, 2010
Garmin announced another Garmin Forerunner, the new Forerunner 110, an entry level fitness watch that offers some nice features in a really compact size. The Forerunner 110 captures the classic details via GPS, like pace, but also can be paired with a heart rate monitor for an extra level of data and insight into your fitness.
Water-resistant and slimmer than any other GPS-enabled fitness watch on the market, Forerunner 110 boasts a high-sensitivity SiRFstarIV GPS receiver with Garmin's HotFix® technology to quickly acquire and sustain satellite reception, perfect for wooded trails under dense trees or in the urban canyons of skyscrapers.
"Forerunner 110 fills the needs of runners of all levels by focusing on simplicity without sacrificing accuracy," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "Within seconds of stepping outside, you simply press start and instantly know your distance, pace and time - all without any complicated setup or excessive accessories."
The data (up to 200 hours of it) can also be downloaded to your computer and uploaded to Garmin Connect via the Forerunner's USB connection. The USB connection is made via a clip that hits a series of contact points on the back of the Forerunner 110 (see above). This clip also charges the device. Garmin Connect displays metrics such as time, distance, speed, elevation and heart rate. This information is shown through charts, illustrations, reports and a variety of map representations including street, photo, topographic, and elevation maps as well as the popular Google Earth application.
Full press release below..... and see the Forerunner 110 MiniSite
Continue reading: "Garmin Introduces the Forerunner 110"
March 30, 2010
TomTom announced a Lifetime map upgrade program that will allow you to purchase not only the GPS, but a lifetime of updates too. The updates come in the form of downloads to your computer onto the TomTom Home application; which then updates the device. According to TomTom, "The road network changes on average 18 percent annually, so they are continually refreshed to include improvements across the entire road network and updates to Points of Interest."
TomTom also has a lifetime traffic update model, that allows select units to get up to the minute traffic updates for the useful lifetime of the device.
TomTom XL and TomTom XXL product lines are now available with Lifetime Map Updates, Lifetime Traffic Updates or a combination of these features. Pricing starts at $199.95 MSRP and varies by model.
Full Press Release Available After the Jump......
Continue reading: "TomTom Lifetime Maps And Traffic Updates"
March 29, 2010
Reportedly, the pilots of the Russian plane that crashed earlier this week were using a handheld GPS as they approached the airport, and not the onboard GPS system. It is not known why they turned off the system, as they were making their approach in fog and cloud conditions. The plane was en route from Egypt to Moscow's Domodedovo airport.
More at SpaceDaily
March 25, 2010
The TomTom Ease is the newest TomTom on the entry level end of the market, and I reviewed the unit here at GPSLodge last month. PCMag has posted their review on the TomTom Ease and they offer some insight into what they think of the Ease, pointing out the Text to Speech capability and the fact that it comes with the benefits of being a TomTom - IQ Routes, MapShare and a solid mapping database under the hood. They did have some issues with routing while driving down the Mass Pike, and some of the shortcuts TomTom took to get to the simple design and low price. Ultimately, they recommend looking for older units still on the market with low prices as a suitable alternative to the Ease.
I think it's a fair recommendation as long as you get Text to Speech, but also think that the TomTom Ease will become the well thought of, sub-$100 unit that you see on a regular basis featured at eye poppingly low prices. Not now, but it will.
Read my Review of the TomTom Ease
Read the PC Mag Review of the TomTom Ease
Comparison shop the TomTom Ease
versus its bigger and better brother, the TomTom ONE 140S (Adds Lane Guidance and more Points of Interest) and the Garmin Nuvi 255
March 23, 2010
Magellan has announced their newest handheld GPS - one targeted at Geocaching, the eXplorist GC. With a color screen, easy to use controls and several customizations specifically for Geocaching, the new unit looks pretty appealing. The Geocaching customizations allow you to download caches into the unit, sort by their proximity to you, navigate to them and log them as found. The easy to see interface looks familiar to Geocachers and follows the themes that Geocaching.com has set up. The unit comes with a free 30-day trial to the premium Geocaching.com membership.
The eXplorist GC will operate up to 18 hours on a pair of AA batteries, and comes with a pair of light Lithiums; I prefer these to Alkaline when out hiking, especially on a multi-day hike when I bring back-ups. They are remarkably lighter than the alkaline ones and make a difference when unces matter.
The IPX7 waterproof rating will help you when the hike turns wet, while the customizable screens should help make the hike easier giving you the information you want in the moment. It's carrying a USB interface, offers a 2.2-inch screen, and a SiRF III chip for 3-meter accuracy even in tough conditions. The price is $199 list, with no info on ship dates. Click the link below to walk through their product intro and leave your email behind to get notified when the units ship.
More at Magellan eXplorist GC
Continue reading: "Magellan eXlorist GC - Geocaching GPS"
Full Press release after the jump.......
TeleAtlas announced the availability of new MultiNet maps for use in GPS manufacturers' plans for their upcoming product development cycles. The improvements include a global approach to crowdsourcing map details, adding a long list of changes as a result of user input, and the mapping of curve and gradient details on maps.
With more than 32 million kilometers (20 million miles), Tele Atlas maps cover more roads, more countries and more people than any other available map, with comprehensive location and navigation content of 95 countries and territories in Europe, North and South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.
"Our strategy is to deliver the highest quality and most up-to-date location and navigation content available. We continue to invest in critical geographies, as well as build out more advanced features in developing markets," said Peter Davie, director of product management, Tele Atlas. "By delivering new products and offerings, including innovations based on community input, we are able to meet our global customer needs and deliver the content that will differentiate their offerings."
Full press release after the jump.......
Continue reading: "TeleAtlas MultiNet - New More Detailed Maps"
March 22, 2010
Beat the Traffic has launched new Apps for Blackberry and iPhone that allow you to see detailed forecasts of traffic in your area. You can see the traffic situation plus the forecast for traffic for up to 2 hours into the future. The application on the iPhone allows you to set your favorite traffic routes (think going to work and back), and then see predictions on those routes, and traffic cams; all for an additional $20/year through an in-app purchase. The information is detailed as far as coverage goes. Unconfirmed, but my hunch is that they are using Inrix feeds, given their hook-up in the past, the data shown on the coverage and the fact that Inrix has an eerily similar application called Intrix Traffic!
Full press release below.....
Continue reading: "Beat the Traffic App - Forecast Your Traffic "
TeleNav announced a pretty innovative application that allows you to notify your friends of your expected arrival time, updating them if you run into trouble. OnMyWay is a simple notification program that automatically alerts a friend or group of friends your trip status and estimated time of arrival. By setting up those friends and configuring the notifications ahead of time, you can control who gets updates and when they might get additional updates; time away from destination, distance from destination, etc. Friends can get notifications via email or text alerts. The system never sends your exact GPS location, but instead let's them know the key info - when you'll really be there.
I like the innovation. Kindof like Glympse without the GPS mapping or the privacy concerns.
Continue reading: "TeleNav On My Way Updates ETA via SMS"
Full Press Release after the jump.......
Telenav announced the new TeleNav GPS Navigator 6.0 which will upgrade features, and do away with one downside of over the air maps - the ability to cache maps on the device while traveling. This is a pretty big development, allowing users to travel from here to there through dead zones without the risk of losing their way due to the gap in cellular coverage. The new version also updates the features with:
- Spoken Commands - "Search Starbucks" or "Search WalMart"
- Lane Assist for major roads
- Alerts for congested intersections that have reported red light traffic issues
- Local Information capabilities for quick access to movies, weather and more.
TeleNav announces its new version after recently being recognized as the Top Handset Navigation Supplier by ABI Research1. For the second year in a row, the firm has ranked TeleNav as world leader based on overall innovation and implementation.
"The most important thing we can do is listen to feedback from customers. This new version incorporates many features that they've asked for," said Sal Dhanani, co-founder and vice president, products and marketing for TeleNav. "Our team is committed to providing the absolute best in mobile phone navigation."
The new version of TeleNav's service will be available this Wednesday, March 24 on select devices.
Full press release including more information on navigating through cellular dead zones follows after the jump......
Continue reading: "TeleNav Announces GPS Navigator 6.0 - Upgraded Features"
March 18, 2010
Flexing their muscles on data acquisition, TomTom was cited in the Wall St Journal in reference to average speed limits on highways state by state. So while the article is interesting in that most states have average speeds a lot higher than 55MPH, and many states have raised the legal speed limit either as a forethought or in reaction to the reality, I think that the cool GPS story here is that TomTom is starting to think of themselves as a data collection and analysis company. These types of studies and data citations usually indicate that the company is sitting on some cool stuff, and that they feel it's worth sharing to further a strategic vision. Now comes the guessing game of what that vision is....
Since TomTom has announced their crowd sourced traffic in the US, through the advent of their iPhone App that offers anonymous tracking for data collection purposes, TomTom is starting to gather steam behind the idea that not only getting from point A to point B is important, but doing so in a smart fashion based on empirical data is where this category is going. I happen to agree.
More at Wall St Journal
Garmin is going to be asking shareholders to approve a move of their umbrella company from the Cayman Islands to Switzerland. If approved the move is said to help with strategic location for growing their European business, and of course the murky world of tax favorability. The number crunchers must have been busy with this one, but I would imagine that with European acquisitions in recent years, their critical mass on that continent makes for a compelling balance sheet change.
As part of the move, Garmin will have a one time increase of the cash dividend from $0.75 per share, to $1.50 per share. Must have had some cash hidden in the closets down there in the islands!
More from Garmin on the move
March 17, 2010
Garmin is skinning the their Garmin Edge 500 cycling computer with the team colors - argyle in honor of the Team Garmin biking colors. The team that features Christian Vendevelde will unveil the new design along with a more calm black and white treatment in May at the Tour de California.
Looks like a nice design on the Edge that is a solid performance minded biking computer. It is a low profile bike GPS that has data galore, and no on screen mapping. The unit tracks speed, distance, time, GPS position, elevation, calories burned, climb and descent; the latter is facilitated by a barometric altimeter in the Edge 500.
The blue and White version is available at Amazon Now - Garmin Edge 500
Navigon has announced a new way to get their iPhone navigation - Mobile Navigator with regional maps. Don't need the whole US? Why pay for it is the idea. The limited mapset comes at a limited price - Navigon Mobile Navigator with MyRegion for $25; additional regions are $13. The US is divided up into three regions: Eastern, Central and Western - and they all download to the iPhone upon purchase, but you only get access to the region you bought. Need another region - buy it in the App, and get access immediately.
Navigon MyRegion is a full featured application with turn-by-turn directions, Google local Search, Reality view of the road ahead, and optional Traffic-live, an add-on that grabs some pretty sophisticated traffic feeds and renders a very accurate traffic picture for you.
- U.S. East map: AL, CT, DE, FL, GA, IN, KY, MA, ME, MD, MI, NH, NJ, NY, NC, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VT, VA, WV
- U.S. Central map: AL, AR, CO, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NE, NM, ND, OH, OK, SD, TN, TX, WI, WY
- U.S. West map: AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NV, NM, OR, UT, WA, WY
Available at iTunes (iTunes Links):
Full Press Release Below.....
Continue reading: "Navigon MyRegion- Regional iPhone Navigation at a Great Price"
March 15, 2010
The Garmin Nuvi 285WT is a full featured widescreen GPS that offers text-to-speech, bluetooth hands free, and for a while, access to MSN Direct's load of features including traffic, weather, movie times, local gas prices and more. The downside here is that MSN Direct is stopping in January 2012, making the MSN direct features short-lived.
The upside is that the unit itself is a solid unit, offering a lot of capability at this price - widescreen GPS navigation with Bluetooth. The discount is pretty significant, driving the populatrity of this GPS at Amazon to the top of their best seller list.
At Amazon - Garmin Nuvi 285WT - for $119
March 10, 2010
Telenav has researched what people are using their service for - where people are going, what they are looking for and how they are battling traffic. The data was collected anonymously from their applications and on-phone navigation system. What's the most searched for Point of Interest? Which city needs to re-route around traffic? What's the most searched for food?
The data is fun to look through and it's not a surprise to see the results - like Pizza being the most popular search for food, WalMart being the most popular Point of Interest searched for, and maybe not a big surprise that Los Angeles is figuring out how to get around traffic most frequently. The data is a fun read.
More on TeleNav and their navigation solutions at Telenav
Full press release after the jump...
Continue reading: "TeleNav - Insight into GPS Use"
March 9, 2010
I tweeted this earlier today, and wanted to post a link to the page too. If you enjoy the back country, you should consider a SPOT Tracking GPS. The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger
allows you to send an SOS message to authorities, a personal message to friends, or an "I/'m OK" message through a satellite system not through a cellular system. So, no matter how far you are out there, you can still get word back on your status.
Head over to GPS for Today to enter
March 8, 2010
When you are out on the trail, and your hike just turned into a muddy downpour mess of an afternoon, you'll want to make sure that you are carrying a GPS that is rated to handle the weather.
Most handheld GPS units are rated to the IPX7 waterproofing standard; a pretty good standard that keeps the unit sound in the face of whatever a typical hike bike, run or other outing can throw at it. Some handhelds are rated to the IPX6 standard; which is a lower standard that doesn't offer the immersion capability that the IPX7 does...... Immersion capability? Yes, see below:
IPX6 Waterproof Standard
Heavy splashing and rain - This test sends water at all angles through a 12.5mm nozzle at a rate of 100 liters/min at a pressure of 100kN/m2 for 3 minutes from a distance of 3 meters. Must not fail or show water seepage.
IPX-7 Waterproof Standard
Puddle, stream, beer cooler and splash rated - Protected against water immersion - Immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter.
I have had my GPS units out in the driving rain for hours and have dropped them in muddy puddles without issue on the IPX7 standard. I like it and it works for almost anything you can throw at it on a typical day.... except dropping it overboard on a boat..... and luckily that hasn't happened.
Photo via:Tom Curtis / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
March 6, 2010
The Garmin Colorado 400 series was discontinued by Garmin recently and I am sad to see it go. While that means there will be plenty of deals on it in the coming weeks to months, it was and for me, remains a strong reliable GPS with advanced features that made the upgrade from an eTrex obvious and painless. The first to include a set of features that brought the handheld GPS to a more user friendly place like USB computer connections, pre-loaded with Topo, Coastal or Inland waterway maps, a large and easily readable screen all helped to make it a powerful contender. The wireless sharing of routes, waypoints helped and when combined with the ability to display data from other modules, like a heartrate or bike cadence monitor made it an attractive new device on the market.
While discontinued, I think that the Colorado will still offer great service for years to come. I still use mine on a regular basis for hiking, biking and boating, and expect to for years to come. When i have a crowd, I use my decade old eTrex Vista and an eTrex Vista C - both old, both discontinued and both still reliable.
Introduced just two years ago at CES, it was quickly followed by the touchscreen Oregon series which has seen more popularity, spawning its smaller sibling the Dakota. The touchscreen versions seem like an easier sell, and a more sustainable platform.
Look for good deals on them as the Garmin Colorado 400t is about $295, which is around at $50 discount to a similarly equipped Oregon 400t.
Thanks Mike for sending this in.
March 5, 2010
TomTom had their earnings announcement recently, but buried in the text are a few clues for 2010 that offer a bit of insight into what's up for the company. They announced that they will be looking at more accurate travel times and predictive traffic in some countries. They have been taking steps towards this for a long time.
- TomTom launches MapShare - TomTom starts with getting more accurate maps by crowd sourcing map fixes.
- TomTom Buys TeleAtlas - they now own their map source and start investing in more accurate maps.
- TomTom Captures User data from their trips - Result is more real-world trip data; IQ Routes is born
- TomTom Launches iPhone App - starts capturing travel time and traffic data
- TomTom Announces iPhone App ver 1.3 - Live Traffic on the iPhone
In their earnings announcement TomTom said:
Traffic information is a key investment area for us, as we know that our technology can substantially enhance accuracy and coverage. We will bring innovative, new product propositions to the market this year, such as predictive traffic information, in a growing number of countries."
It is unclear if TomTom will be using their partner Inrix for the data, or if they will be generating the information themselves through their network of GPS probes and historical information. It is not easy to do predictive traffic, as you need to understand historical speeds, as well as understand how accidents and the effects of those accidents and other effects like storms, large gatherings and special events can change traffic flow. Inrix has figured this out and also has very detailed coverage of secondary roadways in at least the US, and may offer similar quality capabilities in Europe where they have been making headway recently at data and client acquisition.
TomTom is also throwing down the gauntlet on the statement of quality:
"When it comes to location and navigation solutions, we are the only company in this industry fully focused on delivering an uncompromised consumer experience. By continuously enriching the granularity and completeness of our guidance solutions, such as by adding slope, lane and curve information, we differentiate what we can offer across the broad spectrum of our products and expand the available market."
Sounds like fightin' words to me. On top of that, I expect with that statement to see innovation in using additional map attributes to create new products this year. Back in 2007 when I went to visit TomTom, I rode in the TeleAtlas van and saw the future potential as they captured road signs, lane information and building image capture - all attributes that are used today in higher level navigation units with speed limit data, lane assist capability and in some cities 3-D drawings of buildings.
Back in 2007, TeleAtlas also talked about capturing information about lane position, and it seems like TomTom is positioning themselves to get into lane departure warnings too with their recent announcement. Never a dull moment in this field and ripe with innovation potential.
March 4, 2010
Just in case you thought that things were settling into a nice Garmin v. TomTom and iPhone v. Android war with neatly drawn lines, Nokia is launching the Noika Nuron 5230 in the US that will come with onboard maps, and integrated navigation capabilities; Nokia, you know, the owners of NAVTEQ - the map maker who stars in the NAVTEQ v. TeleAtlas wars.
The Nuron is Symbian based and is coming out in a few weeks for the T-Mobile system and has a 3.2-inch display and is Nokia's first US phone with on board navigation. The phone will come with a $39/mo minimum plan plus a $10/mo dataplan, making it line up pretty well with other smartphone offerings in the market. What makes it stand out is that it is only $69 for the phone.
It will have driving and pedestrian routing, as well as lane assistance built in. The phone also comes with free real-time traffic updates, event and movie listings, and weather forecasts. Of course, just in case you need more, you can get it from the full HTML browser.
ReadMore in TWICE
March 2, 2010
TomTom is making the move into connected traffic services for their iPhone application and its release is just around the corner. The HD Traffic option will not only add higher definition traffic reporting, through high quality updates of traffic flow and incident reporting, but also offer insight into accurate duration of your trip, and alternate routes. The big question will be how detailed the reporting will be on smaller side roads. Without traffic reads on side roads, many navigation systems will erroneously recommend a "faster" route on the the side road that is actually clogged worse than the highway.
Press Release is below.....
A number of new services and features are coming soon to the TomTom app for iPhone, including TomTom HD Traffic for real-time traffic speed and incident reports, and Local Search powered by Google. The latest update to the TomTom app for iPhone (version 1.3), which has been submitted to Apple for review, will offer these and other soon-to-be-announced enhancements to ensure an optimal, and even more intuitive, navigation experience.
"TomTom is fully committed to offering TomTom app users the services and features they demand most," said Tom Murray, vice president of market development for TomTom Inc. "The latest update to the TomTom app for iPhone offers our highly sought-after real-time traffic service option, enhanced point-of-interest search capabilities and a wide range of other features."
March 1, 2010
A lot of people just prefer friction mounts to keep the windshield free of suction cup mount marks, and some just want the GPS closer in cars with steeply raked windshields. Whatever the reason, the new Garmin mount does away with the beanbag style in favor of the tacky bottom style. The kicker here is that the base is flexible and can conform to your dashboard's contours. Very cool.
- New design is lighter weight, more flexible and more compact.
- The integrated arm can be folded down for easy storage in an automobile or luggage and holds your Garmin Nuvi
- Transfers from car to car
Available with free shipping from Amazon - New Garmin Portable Friction Dashboard Mount