CES 2011

January 6, 2011

SPOT Teams with Android Smartphones - Good Combo to Save your Life?


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SPOT has announced that they are now compatible with the Android platform and can offer you a quick way to SMS the world from beyond the cell towers in most far flung corners of the earth. The App allows you to use your smartphone to send a text message out to the world via satellite communications, leaving behind the cell phone towers and almost eliminating the issue of not being in touch. I say almost, because while SPOT covers everywhere in the world I would need to go, they don't fully cover the globe.

SPOT Connect will retail for $169.99 MSRP plus a required annual subscription service starting at $99.99 per year and is scheduled to begin shipping this January to retail locations and online sites specializing in GPS, outdoor recreation and personal electronics.1 For more information on SPOT Connect and other SPOT products and location-based satellite service offerings like SPOT Assist Roadside and BoatUS Towing Services, visit www.findmespot.com

For this cool innovation, SPOT won an Innovation award at CES this year. Recall that you can also access this cool text your friends from (nearly) anywhere capability with the DeLorme PN-60W with SPOT handheld GPS also.

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

January 6, 2011

Celestron Announces the CoursePro Golf GPS


Celestron, maker of telescopes and optical products has announced that they are entering into the GPS fray with a couple of new products; the CoursePro and CoursePro Elite GPS handhelds. The inexpensive units ($99 and $149 respectively), are able to tell distances to the front and back of the green while the Elite adds on scorecard data functions and hazard mapping.

Looks like they have access to 20,000 golf courses, but not sure if that is at an extra cost or if that is included in the purchase price. We'll try to find out and get back to you.

ArrowContinue reading: "Celestron Announces the CoursePro Golf GPS"

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

January 6, 2011

Pioneer SmartCradle for the iPhone - GPS and Gyroscope

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Pioneer has announced a new SmartCradle for the iPhone that will help turbocharge your GPS based App on the iPhone. The SmartCradle includes a GPS chip for higher accuracy, and a gyroscope and accelerometer for helping determine your location when the GPS read is failing in those urban canyons. The cradle will of course charge the iPhone while in the dock, because anyone who has used the GPS on an iPhone knows it sucks battery power like a leach.

To add to the coolness, the cradle will help boost the volume with an automatic sound leveling feature - more cabin noise, higher volume on the turn by turn directions.

No word yet on price or launch timing......

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

January 6, 2011

Magellan RoadMate 9055 - Mondo 7-Inch Screen and Back-up Cam Compatible


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Magellan announced the RoadMate 9055, a 7-inch navigation wonder that will support a new proprietary back-up camera that will be released this spring. The extra large screen is perfect for drivers living large in teh RV-class of things, where a remote back-up camera is a perfect addition and a large screen helps when the GPS is more than an arm's length away.

It's not just large, it's smart, with a lifetime traffic subscription, and comes with a built-in AAA TourBook of hotels, restaurants, local merchants and attractions. On top of that, lane assist, text to speech and the ability to access most used functions through a one-touch button all make this a feature packed device.

Available now for $258 (vs $299 list) at Amazon - Magellan RoadMate 9055

Full Press Release Below.....

ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan RoadMate 9055 - Mondo 7-Inch Screen and Back-up Cam Compatible"

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

January 6, 2011

NAVTEQ Demos the New "Natural Guidance" Navigation System

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Some may think that map making is boring work, but NAVTEQ has something up their sleeve that could revolutionize and humanize the navigation industry in ways that we hadn't imagined. Not since text to speech has a feature offered so much potential for helping people recognize the directions they get from their navigator.

NAVTEQ has teamed with NNG (formerly Nav n Go) on the iGO My Way app using data from around Las Vegas to give attendees of CES a way to experience the new navigation method. The Natural Guidance system offers directions like, "turn right before the tall white tower," or "turn left before the Circle K," which is a significant improvement to the "turn left in 300 feet" commands provided by current navigation systems.

The only hesitation I have is that you will still had the same graphics on the screen of the GPS, and not a full color representation of the road ahead. Will the audio be enough as you are looking forward out of your car to cognitively recognize your turn better than today's navigation systems? I think 20 minutes using one of these will answer this question.

Press release follows....

ArrowContinue reading: "NAVTEQ Demos the New "Natural Guidance" Navigation System"

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

TomTom Announces the TomTom Via Line - Via 1405, 1435, 1505, and 1535


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TomTom announced their new super slim Via line that gives solid new navigation in a great package, offering an updated software platform and advanced features like voice recognition and Bluetooth Handsfree calling. The 1400 series are 4.3-inch screen size models while the 1500 series are a 5-inch screen models; making a strong departure from the all-but-dead 3.5-inch screen sized models that we used to call "standard". A combination of factors made 2010 the last year that we should see significant numbers of new models in the smaller harder to use screen size.

All models come with the TomTom EasyPort mount, but split the lines with two finishes; a black for the lower end 1405 and 1505, while adding an aluminum finish to the higher end 1435 and 1505.

TomTom indicates that these will be available with Lifetime map upgrades and lifetime traffic as upgrades.

Available by mid-2011 and at prices starting at $169. I would expect the line to top out at about the low to mid-$200's.

Press Release follows......

ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom Announces the TomTom Via Line - Via 1405, 1435, 1505, and 1535"

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

Magellan eXplorist 310 - Affordable Handheld from Magellan


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Magellan announced the addition of the eXplorist 310 to their handheld GPS line-up. The little brother of the other eXplorists will add affordable features to the Magellan handheld line-up with a 2.2-inch hard screen (non-touchscreen), and the ability to support paperless geocaching, as well as a world basemap. The high sensitivity GPS receiver will track your every move, and easily connect to your computer to download the outing and be able to share the tracks with others. The Magellan eXplorist 310 will be available in time for Spring (March delivery) and will retail for a $199 list price.

In their press release (below), Magellan mentions that they will be adding more handheld products through 2011; good news.

Full Press Release follows.....

ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan eXplorist 310 - Affordable Handheld from Magellan"

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

January 5, 2011

TomTom Announces the GO 2505 M LIVE with HD Traffic

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TomTom announced the new TomTom GO 2505 M LIVE device today that includes for the first time in the US their HD Traffic capability. The LIVE services require a subscription and will be delivered over the AT&T data network. They include the HD Traffic, weather, Fuel Prices and Local Search by Google. The GO 2505 will include Voice Recognition for easy use while driving, and handsfree Bluetooth capabilities. The Multi-touch screen offers an easy to use, iPhone-like experience that is starting to become more and more common with computing devices.

The TomTom GO 2505 M LIVE will be available with its lifetime Map upgrades included by mid-2011 and will list for $349.

more from the press release after the jump.....

ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom Announces the GO 2505 M LIVE with HD Traffic"

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

Escort Radar Detector/GPS Mash-up the Passport iQ

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Escort has mashed up the RADAR detector and the GPS for their latest product, the Passport iQ. not only will it get you from here to there, but it will also detect radar and laser speed traps. The Passport iQ also comes equipped with a trial subscription to their Defender database of known speed traps and speed cameras here in the US.

The 5-inch screen is a nice size with some good basic GPS features like NAVTEQ maps and turn by turn voice guided directions and a lane assist feature. I am pretty sure that the radar and laser detection is the best available; not sure the GPS is though...

Coming in at $649 list, this one will set you back more than that first speeding ticket, but will hopefully prevent you from getting any in the future.

More at Escort Website

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

January 4, 2011

Garmin Launches iPhone App - StreetPilot

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Garmin has announced the new StreeetPilot App for Android and iPhone today. While a latecomer to the App Party, Garmin is here to fight, with a $39 list price in the iPhone App store, and a list of features that took others several upgrades to achieve.

In their recent earnings announcement (November 3, 2010) when they told of the Nuvifone discontinuation, they mentioned that those developers would be moving into smartphone App development. It appears that they were already working hard on these Apps at the time, and that they are in for the long fight with upgrades and new features coming.

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At a high level, the Garmin StreetPilot App has Text to Speech (says Street Names), Lane Assist, iPod controls inside the App, Google Local Search, Local Weather and Traffic Alerts. The traffic appears to be provided by NAVTEQ and their Nokia owners, which is configured to alert you on traffic around you or on your Route. You are also able to set the StreetPilot App for pedestrian use which changes how it navigates you - which includes walking you through pedestrian only areas and up One Way streets the "wrong" way.

Finally, in an interesting move, the Maps are not resident on your smartphone, but are streamed to the phone over the air. This has stirred up loads of debate relating to the data download demands for those on a limited data plan and folks who may venture out of coverage areas where this could pose an issue. On the plus side, I was able to download the <8MB App over the air and start cruising with it in about a minute. Also, upgrades won't come in the form of a 1+GB file that takes 30+ minutes to load onto the phone every time a new feature shows up.

First Impressions - Garmin StreetPilot App

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I have used the App on my iPhone 4 for running around town today and like the interface - native Garmin layout. The App did crash once, but when I restarted it, it remembered where I was navigating to. The StreetPilot App has a nice little Page Curl at the bottom of the map that offers you easy access to several important functions while navigating: Route Overview, Directions. Walking Mode, Stop Navigating and Cancel (Return to the Map Screen).

The lone text to speech voice is OK, but a little quick in its pronunciation rendering a few road names a little less distinguishable than normal. I like the ability to navigate to a contact's address - the format of the data entry screen is a little odd with the data parsed out into different fields: Number, Street, City, etc, versus the Google web standard of all in one blank.

I'll dive deeper into the App in the coming days.

Garmin StreetPilot App is $39 - Available now.

The full press release is below......

ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Launches iPhone App - StreetPilot"

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

Garmin Dezl ("Diesel") 560LT and 560LMT - Serious Truck GPS Navigation


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Gone are the days of using a consumer GPS for your truck - we've all seen the stories of trucks stuck under a low clearance bridge because they were using a regular GPS. Garmin announced the Garmin Dezl - a large format GPS that has several features for the Over-the-road trucking industry. The dēzl boasts a large five-inch display, a built-in loudspeaker, and offers a number of additional user-friendly features including truck-specific points of interest (POIs) with The National Truck & Trailer Services (NTTS) Breakdown Directory, hours, fuel and mileage logging, truck speed limits and advanced navigation and route planning and calculation with Garmin's nüRoute™ technology."

Dezl 560LT - Lifetime traffic included - $469

Dezl 560 LMT - Lifetime Traffic and Map upgrades included. - $529

Available "First Quarter 2011"

Press Release follows.....

ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Dezl ("Diesel") 560LT and 560LMT - Serious Truck GPS Navigation"

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

Garmin Nuvi 2400 Series: 2450, 2450LM, 2460LT, 2460LMT - Large Screen Series

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Garmin has announced a new series of Navigators, the Nuvi 2400 series. This marks their entrance into a new line of 5-inch screened navigators where the feature set is mid- to upper-tier offering value in this ever more popular screen size. The street prices of these overlap with the Garmin 1490, also a 5-inch model. Not typical Garmin to eliminate a model so soon after launching it, but the 2400 series seems to eliminate the need for it.


The Nuvi 2400 series offers the features that are becoming more standard on numerous models, like lane and junction views, and routes based on historical traffic patterns. There are several nice features like voice command (I used and like this feature on the Nuvi 3790T), and Bluetooth Handsfree on some models.

  • Nuvi 2450 - US/ Canada/Mex maps, and Traffic Ready (Optional upgrade) - $209 List
  • Nuvi 2450LM - Adds Lifetime Map Updates - $249 List
  • Nuvi 2460LT - Same Maps, Handsfree calling, Voice Activated Navigation - $259 list
  • Nuvi 2460LMT - Adds Lifetime Map Updates - $299

More information at the Press Release.....

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

Inrix to Power Toyota Entune On-Board Traffic System

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Inrix has announced that they are going to also provide traffic information to the new Toyota onboard computer system dubbed "Entune". Inrix in their usual role will be supplying unsurpassed coverage and traffic alerts to the Toyota drivers to unexpected traffic incidents.


Just today I was sitting in a shop in the center of our small suburban town, only to overhear a person come in the shop and tell a friend about an accident that just happened down the road, snarling traffic. A few minutes later as I jumped in my car (Not a toyota), I checked the Inrix Traffic! iPhone App to see that they had a bead on the tie-up, which Inrix showed ending exactly at the accident scene. This road was a tertiary state road that was not heavily traveled in the middle of the afternoon, but Inrix captured the back-up accurately and quickly.


Full Press release below on the new Inrix Partnership with Toyota.....


ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix to Power Toyota Entune On-Board Traffic System"

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

Garmin Powers Chrysler UConnect Nav System

Garmin has teamed up with Chrysler to deliver the navigation aspects of the new Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep Uconnect system- an OEM product that brings Garmin's Nuvi-like interface and features to the in-dash navigation system. It includes high end features like lane assist, junction view, speed limit indicators and text to speech capabilities rolled into garmin's easy to use interface.

As a nice touch, the Navigation Screen will also have customized vehicle icon that looks like the vehicle that you are driving; cool!

ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Powers Chrysler UConnect Nav System"

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

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