August 30, 2011

Garmin's Assessment: Printed Maps and Mobile Phones as Threats

Rip a page out of any marketing text and you'll find a way to deal with threats; how many people have done a SWOT analysis on their business? Well, it seems like the folks at Garmin are taking their threats head on in a little tongue in cheek fashion. Below are five quick videos that point out why the new Nuvi line of GPS devices is smarter than other options. So while the mobile phone may be taking huge bites out of the stand alone GPS market potential, paper direction printouts continue to be an opportunity for converts to switch to a 2012 Garmin GPS.

  • Paper Direction print outs - cost money in ink - Hey, I just paid $65 in ink cartridges this weekend myself.
  • Navigating with Smartphones - if you are downloading maps as you go, and are not on an unlimited data plan, you might be in for a surprise when the bill comes, those maps are data-hounds.

Sure, there are a few concepts here that are a stretch, but take a look and have a chuckle. It will take less than 2 minutes to watch them all.

If, you're good with your paper direction print outs or the navigation on your phone; good. If not, you can Enter for a chance to Win a new 2012 Garmin Nuvi over at the Garmin page (scroll to the bottom to enter).

"Paper Work"

"Dashing" - Garmins come with a mount. Get it?


"Cashing out"

"Out of Bounds" - You know your dead zones, right?

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 29, 2011

TomTom GO LIVE 1535M with Yelp, Trip Advisor and Twitter - Connected Wonder Child?


TomTom has unleashed a bit of a wonder child in their new TomTom 1535 GO LIVE product - a connected GPS with built in HD Traffic (updates every 2 minutes), and several useful connected services including: Yelp, Google Local Search (not really new), Trip Advisor, Expedia and Twitter. Yes, your GPS just got social.... don't know if it needed to be but it is.

Kidding aside, the data presented can help travelers in unfamiliar areas by beefing up the user reviews depth of knowledge for restaurants and other travel destinations through the connected services offered here. It's a lot easier to rely on a fresh set of user reviews and associated data on a place of interest to decide it you want to go there than on a simple POI entry that may or may not be up to date depending on the last time you updated your maps.... that's old school and not in a good way.

TomTom is clearly trying to get a connected platform that serve the traveler well, with these new connected Apps, and the old standbys like Gas Prices, and weather forecasts.

“By giving people the most up-to-date traffic details as well as relevant local content provided by travel apps, TomTom is bringing a new level of connectivity to drivers by providing information in the most effective platform available,” said Tim Roper, president of TomTom, Inc. “We are excited to expand TomTom HD Traffic services onto our new range of connected devices at a more affordable price, as it can dramatically reduce time spent in traffic for our customers.”

Yelp search with ratings and a click through for reviews.

The new TomTom Go Live 1535M will be available with US. Canada and Mexico maps, in a 5-inch screen, along with Bluetooth handsfree, Voice Recognition command entry and Advanced Lane Guidance. The TomTom GO LIVE 1535M will be available in October for MSRP of $249, with a 12-month LIVE services bundled into that price.
BTW - good news for TomTom GO LIVE 2535 users - you get an update this Fall with the new software capabilities!

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 25, 2011

Garmin Nuvi Essentials Line; Nuvi 30/40/50

Garmin Nuvi 50

Garmin announced their Essentials line today - a line-up that includes basic GPS units in varying screen sizes with a reasonable list of features. The Garmin Nuvi 30 is a 3.5-inch basic GPS with turn by turn directions, spoken word directions, as well as junction view and lane assist. Since 3.5-inch units are essentially dead, let's talk about the bigger models....

Garmin Nuvi 40 Essentials Line

The real fun starts at the Nuvi 40 level where the screen size jumps to 4.3-inch and adds an "LM" version where the unit comes with lifetime maps and traffic. Some quality features are maintained in this "Essentials" line which used to be a premium feature, but alas, overtime are features that are expected by everyone. Features here that I like and are worth noting:

  • Speed Limit indicators - used to be barely accurate, but are pretty good these days; generally won't catch a lower speed limit in a highway construction zone though.
  • Lane assist and Junction View - this is Garmin's version of helping you out when complex highway intersections are coming up; they show you which lane to be in in order to make your turn. Helpful in areas where you are uncertain of which lane to be in. Not so much when there is only one exit lane and ramp.....
  • Where Am I? - a simple tap of the icon and you get location information to tell first responders if you are in trouble.
  • Comes with the fun ability to download new vehicle icons from the "Garmin Garage" to change the icon to all kinds of fun creations depending on your mood or the time of the year.

Check Prices first at Amazon:

Garmin Nuvi 40 - 4.3-inch "Essentials" unit

Garmin Nuvi 40LM - 4.3-Inch "Essentials" unit with lifetime map updates

Garmin Nuvi 50 Essentials Line

The Nuvi 50 also has an "LM" version, but comes with a 5-inch screen. The feature set-up is similar, and gets you going in a 5-inch model without a lot of higher end extras to drive up the price. Why a 5-inch screen? Well Today's 5-inch screen is yesterday's 4.3-inch screen, and with prices dropping on components, it's a reasonable price. I have used units up to 7-inches, and those are not always easy to manage. So for everyday use, 5-inches are OK, but much bigger means harder to handle, put on the windshield and hide under the seat, in the glove box, etc.

A key feature addition here is that with the extra real estate, you get a split screen for the Lane Assist/Junction View capability.

Check Prices first at Amazon:

Garmin Nuvi 50 - 5-inch "Essentials" unit

Garmin nüvi 50LM - 5-inch "Essentials" unit

More at the Garmin Essentials Nuvi 30/40/50 web page

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 25, 2011

Garmin Prestige Line: Garmin Nuvi 3450 and 3490 series

The Garmin Nuvi Prestige line comes in two basic flavors, the Nuvi 3450 and Nuvi 3490 - both come with the Guidance 3.0 bundle giving users a better navigation experience in the svelte multi-touch screen form factor.   

The Guidance 3.0 system has the new 3D traffic capability that runs on the HD radio back bone giving not only more accurate data, but more of it so you can get a better overall view of your drive and alternates should traffic be an issue. The added My Trends feature also learns your routes and starts to recognize where you are driving without punching in a destination.

Finally, the system also adds Text Reading features to allow you to get and listen to your text messages without having to take your eyes off the road...... just don't answer them back by typing...... edit: The feature also allows you to answer back. The connection is across Bluetooth.

BirdsEye Junction View - Some complex junctions will come up with satellite images of the junction allowing you to see exactly what's going on from above.

Nuvi 3450 - Comes with the Guidance 3.0 system and a multi-touch screen. Beautiful to use and look at. MSRP - $329

Nuvi 3450LM - adds lifetime maps MSRP - $369

Nuvi 3490 LMT - adds traffic to the mix for the best overall experience - MSRP - $399

Availability in the "Fourth Quarter"

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

August 25, 2011

Garmin Advanced Nuvi Series 2405 and 2505 Units

Garmin Nuvi 2595
Garmin's Advanced Nuvi line up adds a new Guidance 2.0 bundle of features to deliver a better experience overall for the driver. The improved Junction View/Lane Assist system offers photorealistic views with an improved database of 60,000 locations that have life-like sign detail to better mimic the actual location. With the split screen, you can see the junction before you get to it, and understand which lane to be in ahead of time.

Updated Traffic information - this is a very much needed update, and changes the Garmin Traffic quality dramatically with their "3D" system: "Also part of Guidance 2.0 is 3D Traffic, providing a whole new experience that includes more than just live traffic data. As part of the world’s most extensive traffic avoidance system, 3D Traffic checks traffic conditions 2 billion times per month using a multidimensional feed of real-time traffic data from quality sources including other Garmin nuvi owners, cellphone users, radio feeds, news stations, historical traffic data and fixed traffic sensors on major roads. With trafficTrends™, the Nuvi automatically learns patterns for traffic flow and predicts where traffic will be. All of this data is sent to the Nuvi to provide timely and accurate updates to keep you moving instead of sitting in traffic wasting time and fuel."

Nuvi 2455LT/LMT - Guidance 2.0 system, photorealistic Lane Assist/Junction view and a dual orientation screen (portrait or landscape). The LT - lifetime traffic included, and LMT adds lifetime map updates. All in a 4.3-inch screen size. MSRP - $169 and $199 respectively.

Nuvi 2475 LT - similar to the 2555 series, but adds Bluetooth handsfree phone capability. MSRP - $229

Nuvi 2495 LMT - Adds voice command to the list of features. MSRP - $229

Nuvi 2555 LT/LMT - stepping up to a 5-inch screen size, the Nuvi 2555 offers the same features as the 2455, and comes in the "LT and LMT" variants, and MSRP $189 and $219 respectively.

Nuvi 2595 LMT - This unit adds voice activated voice commands to the feature list. MSRP - $249

These units will be available in November.
Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 24, 2011

DeLorme InReach Satellite Communicator - Best in Show Awards


DeLorme's soon-to-be-released communicator to the stars won best in show type awards from both Outside Magazine and at the recent Outdoor Retailer Show in August. The InReach communicator allows users of certain DeLorme GPS devices to communicate with friends and family (two-way communication) over the Iridium Satellite communication network. This allows you to send and received messages, and send tracking information over the Iridium network's "pole to pole global" footprint. Yes, with an "SOS" button, you can also reach out for help.

The InReach can also be paired (via Bluetooth) with an Android phone to allow its user to send and receive 160 character messages, including Facebook and Twitter updates. Go ahead and laugh, but an increasing number of long range and remote trips are putting up web pages, and offer tracking of progress in real-time. No doubt they are packing a solar charger to keep their mobile tech empires at the ready.

Expect this little piece of amazingness to be available in mid-October. for more information see DeLorme's InReach page.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 21, 2011

Garmin Nuvi 1450 LMT - 5 Reasons it's a Best Seller


The Garmin Nuvi 1450 LMT isn't the newest Nuvi on the block, but there are a long list of specs that make this really attractive to shoppers for a new GPS. Here are 5 reasons why it's a Best Seller - #1 on Amazon's list for best selling GPS units right now.

We've watched the GPS industry for a long time, and have reviewed GPS units from brands you probably know and love, and then some that should have died long before they did. Here are 5 reason's why the Garmin 1450 LMT is a Best Seller and why it might be a good choice for you.....

#1 - It's a Garmin - As the market leader, Garmin has become a household name, one that people are familiar with, and the implied trust is well deserved. They make a good product overall, stand behind their products with a good US-based call center, and figured out a long time ago how to make their GPS units work well and deliver high quality trusted directions.

#2 The super wide-screen coming in at 5-inces. The old school widescreens were 4.3-inces, and with this extra real estate, things are even easier to see, and type when you are trying to tap on those buttons to find a point of interest, or type in an address. With little noticeable downside, the extra real estate in a 5-inch screen is worth it.

#3 Free Lifetime Map Update and Traffic Subscriptions - I think the real pull here is the free map upgrades. Eve in areas where new roads aren't popping up every other week, you're going to need a map update sooner or later. Why not pay a small amount now for updates for a long, long time? On top of that, the Points of Interest gets upgraded too - businesses are always changing, and updated Points of Interest makes sense too. The TMC traffic on this particular unit is still hampered by the low bandwidth transmission of the FM spectrum. It will warm you about big issues, but may not be able to warn you about the after-effects on secondary roads when the main ones are jammed.

#4 intuitive User Interface - The Garmin interface has patented features that focus on making it easy to read and use; it's why they are the number one GPS maker in the US. With lane guidance and junction view the Nuvi 1450 LMT will tell you which lane to be in for the upcoming turn, giving you the confidence to explore afar. The turn by turn directions backed by the intuitive screen prompts make it trustworthy too. The first screen has two main options - "Where to? and "View Map" - pretty easy, eh?

#5 The Price Mid- $100's Price Point - The price point is a good step up for people shopping the lower end of the GPS line around $100, but not so much that it hurts. With all of the value built in, the $160-ish price on this 5-Inch screen GPS makes it a good choice for a lot of shoppers.

Again, it's not the newest Garmin, but with free lifetime updates for maps, it will get you there confidently with ease. The 5-inch screen makes a big difference without being so huge that you need to crank your head to see around it.

At Amazon - Garmin Nuvi 1450LMT 5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Map & Traffic Updates

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 19, 2011

Garmin Vector - Wireless Power Meter Pedals


Garmin has announced the new Vector Power Meter system, an ANT+ compatible pedal set (LOOK Keo format) that wirelessly sends power measurements from each pedal to a compatible Garmin Edge biking computer. Not only can you receive heart rate, and cadence on your compatible Garmin Edge Bike Computer, but you will now be able to get power readings for both your left and right pedals. The whole dataset can then be uploaded and analyzed after the ride on the Garmin Connect website.

How it Works

Most power meters include installing it as an integral part of the bike's drivetrain where it takes a significant amount of time to install the power meter hug. the Vector system is simply a set of pedals, which measure the deflection of the pedal's crankshaft when you push on it. That reading is translated into the amount of power exerted on the pedal and it then transmits it to the wireless bike computer.

From Garmin....“Vector’s easy-to-own design has the potential to make power-based training more accessible and usable by a broader range of athletes,” said Hunter Allen, founder of Peaks Coaching Group and widely regarded as a leading expert in training with a power meter. “In addition, by integrating the TrainingPeaks metrics of Normalized Power, Intensity Factor and Training Stress Score directly into the Edge head units for real-time display, Garmin continues to demonstrate a strong commitment to advancing power-based cycling tools.”

The Vector system isn't for weekend park cruisers... it is priced at $1499, and will be available next March.

More info at the Garmin Vector Mini-site....

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin Edge 200 - GPS Enabled Bike Computer


Garmin announced their new Garmin Edge 200, a GPS Enabled bike computer. It 's like the bike equivalent of the Forerunner 110, a similarly "GPS Enabled" fitness computer that adds GPS tracking, but does away with the mapping capabilities of higher end devices. The Edge 200 allows you to accurately track your progress with speed, distance, time, and calories burned, and then allows you to upload the data to Garmin Connect, the growing community of GPS users who train and track their progress online.

The Garmin Edge 200 should be available just in time for holiday giving this Fall for around $149.

More detail at Garmin Edge 200 Product Page

Fill Press Release below........

ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Edge 200 - GPS Enabled Bike Computer"

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 15, 2011

Waze Traffic as Art - The Streets of Paris

If you haven't seen this and have been to Paris, you can almost see the traffic trace the routes you've probably taken to get around the city.....

Via Waze where you'll also find Rome and Tel Aviv done up in a similar way....

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

August 1, 2011

Garmin Forerunner 405 - $149 - 60% Off!

The Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS watch is 60% off today as Amazon's Deal of the Day at $149. The Forerunner 405 is a small GPS watch with a touch bezel for changing views, ability to track distance, speed, pace, calories and heart rate monitor when paired with the Garmin Heart Rate Monitor (Optional). The HRM connects wirelessly using the ANT+ technology - short distance, low power.

It is a GPS enabled sport's watch, and not a mapping deice, so while it can help you gather accurate data about what you did, and where you went, you aren't out there with a map of your community on your wrist.
With the ANT+ Stick - a USB plug, you can wirelessly sync with your computer - easy and quick.
Check out the Garmin Forerunner 405 for $149 at Amazon.
Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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