CES 2009

January 13, 2009

Insight from TomTom US President J. Vigreaux


Jocelyn Vigreaux, the US President of TomTom offered a few interesting positions on TomTom, their new connected device for the US and the general outlook for the GPS market. In a Barron's posting, Vigreax cites the falling prices for raw materials as a key enabler of low prices in the holiday season. We saw the TomTom ONE 125 hit (and stay at) $99 for a long time, offering a great value in a top name brand.

In launching their new TomTom GO 740 LIVE, the company expects to attract high end users while capturing some monthly revenue. The units come with a year's subscription to the cellular connection service, and will cost about $10 a month after that.

In looking ahead, Vigreaux talked about the surge of cellphone navigation and cited that they appear to address different use cases or needs. He and I are aligned on this; phones inherently have or need small screens, while navigators are better suited for larger screens. It may just come down to sacrifices; those with top of the line smart phones want navigation built in and will sacrifices screen size for the rest of the bundled features, while others will take the small phone footprint and adopt a larger navigation unit. Should be interesting to see where this all lands us in the coming years....

Thanks Jim for sending this in.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 12, 2009

TomTom GO 740 LIVE - Best of CES

CNet has awarded the Best of CES awards and the TomTom GO 740 LIVE has taken home the honors this year as the best GPS unit in the show. The promise of connected GPS units - allowing much bigger bandwidth and two way communication functionality will let you Google search fo Points of Interest, get better traffic updates, and bring the power of relevant information to your driving; all in the TomTom interface.

More on the TomTom GO 740 LIVE

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 8, 2009

CES Update - So Far


A lot of action has gone on at CES so far, but one has to imagine that the economy and the future of the category is on the minds of a lot of GPS participants.

The shear number of introductions is down; Garmin had a handful of units last year (Nuvi 850, 780, 260W, 5000, Forerunner 405, Colorado series, and Garmin Mobile for computers); not so this year. They did drop the Approach Golf GPS, Nuvi 885T, the Zumo 660 Motorcycle unit, and EcoRoute a free download that will help you save gas by routing you so there's less stop and go traffic.

Continuing the trend, Navigon announced a group of software rollouts meant to pimp your GPS up with some better map offerings, and information like Red Light Camera Locations. They also announced an alliance with Rand McNally to sell pre-programmed driving guides and specialized content of tourist locations.

TomTom announced that their TomTom GO 740 LIVE was coming to the US this spring - a connected GPS done the TomTom way. Will provide traffic, weather, Google Search, gas prices and more. Not offering HD Traffic right away, but that doesn't have me worried for now. I expect that the higher bandwidth and underlying data should be enough to make it better than current. TomTom also announced a slick new unit with Fujitsu ten - the Eclipse AVN4430.

Mio announced a whole line-up change with a big launch - announcing that their strategy has changed to go after the whole market, not just the low end. I was just talking the other day about newcomers getting squeezed at the low end while Garmin and TomTom kept them out through tough competition at that end of the market.

Nextar has launched the Q4-LT - the second brand to use NAVTEQ's advertising service; making lifetime traffic free to users. (Garmin was the first)

TeleNav and Inrix are a part of Ford's new Sync navigation system. Sounds like Ford is making a big step here with all the capabilities of the Sync.

Not to be outdone, Dual, announced another first; the first GPS to get HD Radio-based traffic feeds. Bigger bandwidth means faster updates. The Dual XNAV43HD should go on sale this spring.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 8, 2009

Garmin Approach G5 Golf GPS Video

Garmin has a quick look at the Approach G5 golf GPS, with its touchscreen interface and a few teaser capabilities. The interface looks pretty sharp with the ability to figure out distances to the green and distances to carry the hazards on the hole.

UPDATED: Garmin has introduced "Caddy Confidential" posts to its blog to introduce people to their Approach G5 Golf GPS. The posts will get a lot better as the weather gets better - I am thinking that maybe the caddie needs a little trip to warmer weather to build out those how-to video's and enjoy a little sun.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 8, 2009

TeleNav and Inrix to power Ford Sync In-Dash Systems

Telenav is going to be powering Ford's Sync system with voice activated navigation, traffic feeds from Inrix, hands free calling and music access, audible text messages, and 911 assist. This is interesting as Ford has had a long standing relationship with Garmin for featuring GPS units with vehicles.

Inrix is bringing their "A" game to the party packing a new "alerting Service" allowing you to get personalized traffic alerts delivered to your car - pretty interesting to see how this might interface with the navigation system. I mean really - does Spock and Scottie come bundled in the Sync system too? "But Captain, there's a traffic jam ahead. Use the next exit and hit warp speed."

Telenav & Inrix Press Release Below......

ArrowContinue reading: "TeleNav and Inrix to power Ford Sync In-Dash Systems"

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Mio Announced Mio Moov S300, S500, S556, S700 and a New Interface for US


Mio is re-doing the line of GPS navigators and it sounds like they have a pretty intriguing line-up, definitely upping the ante on the GPS game, as they are running a new interface too, dubbed the "Mio Spirit". The operating system and new interface has been in development for over 2 years, and includes a lot of shortcuts and capabilities to make navigating the device a lot easier. The new Mio units will be powered by TeleAtlas maps. Of note, the Moov S300 starts with 12 Million POI!; and the Moov S700 is a 7-inch display. The four new units are:

  • Mio Moov S300 - features a 3.5 inch display, preloaded with maps of the U.S. and Canada. It has Text-to-Speech voice direction in English, Spanish and French and more than 12 million points of interest.

  • Mio Moov S500 - a 4.7-inch model with all the functionality of the S300.

  • Mio Moov S556 (shown above) - a premium model with a stylish, ultra-flat 4.7-inch display. It includes the aforementioned functionality with the addition of Bluetooth® for hands-free calling and "Junction View," a feature that aids motorists in complex traffic intersections.

  • Mio Moov S700 - has a mammoth 7-inch display and is perfect for RV's and campers. It also includes MAD Maps content for travelers who are looking for preloaded scenic routes and a unique journey. The device includes features such as preloaded maps of the U.S. and Canada, Text-to-Speech in English, Spanish and French, and more than 12 million points of interest.

The line goes along with Mio's strategy of attacking the low and and the high end of the market with a more complete offering. Smart move if they can compete up there with their product line. It will be interesting to see how they handle the Magellan branding on items since their purchase of the company.


Press Releases below......

ArrowContinue reading: "Mio Announced Mio Moov S300, S500, S556, S700 and a New Interface for US"

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Tele Atlas Podcasts on iTunes - Beef up on you Mapping Knowledge

Just in case you didn't think mapping was cool - Tele Atlas has their own Podcast.... They can tell you a little bit more about how data is gathered and how it can be used to get you an optimal route to your destination.

"Tele Atlas, a leading global provider of digital maps and dynamic content for navigation and location based solutions, today added a new episode to the Tele Atlas Digital Mapping Podcast Series, which provides insight into industry trends, discussion of various topics related to digital maps and location based solutions, and timely details about Tele Atlas news.

The newest episode of the podcast of the series titled, "An Expert's Perspective on Digital Mapping Trends," will feature Dominique Bonte, Research Director at ABI Research, to discuss current digital mapping trends and offers an outlook for 2009. Margot Delogne, vice president of global communications with Tele Atlas, hosts this exclusive podcast, as well as the regularly scheduled discussions with various Tele Atlas executives and industry experts.

"Digital mapping now encompasses more than roads and road attributes to support applications for navigation and pedestrian location services, including more geographical content, visual enhancements and photographic content and most notably, dynamic content, which is becoming a major and vital enhancement," said Bonte. "The digital mapping industry has also evolved to engage the community of users, and this will be a key component to maintaining up-to-date maps with increasing richness and freshness.""

at iTunes

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Sony to Launch Camcorders with Built In GPS/Maps

Sony is launching what I think is the first camcorder with a built in GPS chip and mapset (NAVTEQ) - no it isn't supposed to navigate you to the photoshoot! The full line of camcorders (Sony HDR-XR520V, HDR-XR500V, HDR-XR200V) offer full HD vieo and a 12-megapixel still shot capability for the HDR-XR520V and XR550V, with a 4 MP capability on the XR200V.

Major differences:

  • HDR-XR520V - 12 MP still shot, with a 240 GB hard drive; list $1,500
  • HDR-XR500V - 12 MP Still shot with a 120 GB hard drive; list $1,300
  • HDR-XR200V - 4 MP Still shot with a 120GB hard drive; list $1,000

Photos can obviously be geotagged, and you can browse through the map for finding locaitons of those shots. Expect these to hit the market in late Q1 2009.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Navigon Software and Mapping Content Upgrades


Navigon is going to let you pimp out your existing Navigon ride with some software extras that are designed to extend your current units so that they grow with you and help you out when you get in a pinch. The new software (which you need to pay for) includes:

  • Red Light Camera Locations - yes they are in the US, and you may just get a picture in the mail wit your car going through a red light and a nice citation. This comes as a subscription.

  • Euro Maps - expand your US Navigon to handle Europe for that big trip you have planned.

  • North American Expansion Pack - Only have the US Maps? Get Canada too.

  • 3-D Buildings - cool to drive by and now your GPS can feature over 600 rendered buildings (seems kindof low, eh?)

  • Expanded POI - Missing businesses, or whole strip malls; the expanded POI set should help to get more detail and fresher content on your unit.

It seems like Navigon is taking the approach that they realize that people are hurting and don't want to go and buy a whole new GPS; thus the minor software upgrade. Yea, the things cost money, but I guess they need to make a buck too.

All available for various prices; timing this spring.

Full Press Release after the jump.......

ArrowContinue reading: "Navigon Software and Mapping Content Upgrades"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

TomTom GO 740 Live Connected GPS Headed for US in Q2


The TomTom GO 740 Live connected GPS is headed for the US. Gizmodo has some pics of it up from CES, as it is already launched in the UK, with some favorable first impressions from over there. The unit has cellular connections that feed data (traffic, search, weather, etc) to the unit in a high bandwidth way, giving much more resolution on what's happening. The unit can also search, Google style, for local businesses.

Should be a good look at what connected GPS can do. Can't wait.

Press Release after the jump....

ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom GO 740 Live Connected GPS Headed for US in Q2"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

January 7, 2009

TomTom In Dash Navigation - Eclipse AVN4430

TomTom's technology is looking pretty sweet in the new Eclipse AVN4430 in-dash multimedia playback and navigation center. The unit features all kinds of media playback,
as a CD/DVD player, iPod Audio, iPod Video, and on and on.... Oh, yea and of course the 4.3-inch touchscreen is great for navigation too. Features the latest TomTom interface, and of course Text to Speech.

Full Press Release Below....

ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom In Dash Navigation - Eclipse AVN4430"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

Navigon teams with Rand McNally for City Guide and Trip Content

Navigon announced that they are teaming up with Rand McNally to deliver City Guide content and scenic route content to their GPS units. With over 1500 landmarks and 250 routes the content is pretty vast, coming from a pretty respected name in map making. The Rand McNally Scenic Routes and Rand McNally City Guides will be available in select NAVIGON devices and online at navigon.com in spring 2009 and retail for $19.99 each.

Full Press Release after the jump...

ArrowContinue reading: "Navigon teams with Rand McNally for City Guide and Trip Content"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Dual XNAV43HD - with HD Radio Traffic Receiver

Dual announced a new GPS Navigation unit that is a first of its kind - the first GPS in the US to offer Traffic by HD radio signal. This was demoed at CES two years ago and is now making its debut on US soil - excellent. "So what?" you ask? Yea, the higher bandwidth of HD can deliver a lot more information through to the unit, so you should get faster updates, and hopefully more detailed information. The old TMC channel can only handle so much, so updates are as frequent and the detail and resolution on the roads just isn't there.

THe Dual XNAV43HD is planned to be around $279 and available this spring. It ships with a 4.3-inch screen, text to speech and let's hope it delivers what is possible out there. The data of course will come from Inrix, and covers hundreds of thousands of miles of roads out there.

Good stuff; who's next with the HD capability?

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin Nuvi 885 and 885T - Enhanced MSN Features - Flight Status and Doppler Radar

Garmin announced the Garmin Nuvi 885/885T today, a top of the line voice recognition capable, MSN driven unit that now includes Flight Status updates from the MSN expanded capability. On top of that, you will now see Doppler radar weather on the unit which can give you a nice complement to the weather feature. Yes, lane assist and junction view are there for help through tough intersections and it's loaded with all kinds of POI and more. This is a good line expansion for the already successful Nuvi 850. Can't wait to try it out.

The nüvi 855 has a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $699.99 and the nüvi 885T has an MSRP of $799.99. Both are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2009.

Also - See the garmin Product Page for the Nuvi 885T for specs and more.

ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Nuvi 885 and 885T - Enhanced MSN Features - Flight Status and Doppler Radar"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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