November 12, 2008

Garmin Holiday Ads - 2008

Garmin has their holiday ads out for the masses, and for the ad above, they are bringing back their "Give a Garmin" theme with the holiday shopper franticly driving around looking for things; ad named "Coffee Shop" Gone is the monobrow version from last year, and in is the woman using the Garmin Nuvi 880 - voice controlled GPS.

The Ad below has a Garmin for everyone, and shows their various lines of products, all in use for the one for everyone type theme. The music is either annoying or really catchy; I happen to like them. Good for a couple of laughs.

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

November 5, 2008

Garmin Mobile PC Pre-loaded on Fujitsu Sub-Notebook with GPS


Garmin released a new GPS today that has a physical keyboard and runs the Windows Operating System, er, ah, I mean Fujitsu released a sub-notebook that weighs in at less than 2 pounds (U820 model), has a built in GPS chipset and comes pre-loaded with Garmin's Mobile PC software that will turn the notebook into a fully functional navigator. The notebook has a 5.6 inch screen, wireless, a fingerprint reader, Bluetooth and starts with a 60GB hard drive.

Interesting and not a surprising move for the mobile professional set; I like it. The configurations start at $999.

Read the Full Press Release at MarketWatch

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

November 4, 2008

Garmin Announces Nuvi 880 and Nuvi 760 For BMW


Garmin is continuing to work with BMW to offer GPS navigation systems in BMWs that are adapted from the higher end of Garmin's PND line. The new models are going to be based on the Voice Activated Nuvi 880, dubbed Portable Navigation System Pro with traffic, weather and gas prices. The Nuvi 760 will be dubbed Portable Navigation System Plus with Bluetooth and maps of North America.

Both systems will utilize mounts that are specially engineered by BMW that will mount to the dash and not the windshield. The mounts are engineered for the 1-series and 3-series as well as the X3 cars.

Full Press Release Follows.......

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

October 30, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 775T Review

The Garmin Nuvi 775T is one of the newer widescreen GPS units (Announced in August) in the Nuvi line at this writing and offers several key upgrades over the Nuvi 770 offering that I think are useful and worth consideration when shopping for a GPS. I firmly believe that text to speech and widescreen GPS units are worth paying the additional money for, and being at the high end of the Garmin line, the Nuvi 775T has both. That's not all though, as Garmin has seen their way to adding in a few other goodies to keep people interested and enticed enough to put the Nuvi 775T high on their list. The reason to spend a little more on teh Nuvi 775T is to get both North American AND European maps pre-loaded on the device. If you are heading to Europe and want a GPS, this is a great high end choice.

Let's take a look at the features of the Garmin Nuvi 775T to see what it has to offer....

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

October 28, 2008

Meet Team Garmin win a Team Bike


Team Garmin has had a pretty good year, and on November 22nd in Boulder CO, you could meet the new Team Garmin and enjoy a bit of the festivities that will come along with the event. One cool thing is that you will have a chance to win a Felt F1 bike - the team racing bike, including all of the extras that come along with a racing bike of this caliber, minus the chase vehicle and of course the team manager who will change a flat for you on the ride.

More at Garmin Blog where there is news and links to interviews from members of the team and their reaction to the Tour de France 2009 route.

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

October 26, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 205W, 255W Full Review

The Garmin Nuvi 205W/255W were announced earlier this year and are quickly taking their place as solid entry level units in the Garmin line-up. The Nuvi 205W/255W offer a series of new tweaks that I have quickly come to appreciate and enjoy.

The Nuvi 205W/255W feature several upgraded features:

  • New faster processor, making for a faster routing and map drawing.

  • New shaded elevation maps.

  • Now compatible with optional TMC traffic receivers, or MSN Direct service (Gas prices, traffic, local events, stocks, news, and weather.

  • Garmin HotFix capability to automatically calculate and store satellite locations so that you will be able to turn the unit on and go a lot faster greatly reducing satellite acquisition time.

  • Geolocated Picture capability - Download geotagged photos to the Garmin to be able to navigate to a loaded picture; works with Google's Panoramio photo sharing community and Garmin Connect Photos website.

The subtle changes don't sell themselves in any huge way as breakthrough innovations, but these changes add up to a whole lot more in use than the quick read might lead you to believe. If these were houses for sale, the 200W/250W and the 205W/255W may look the same from the outside, and offer the same number of bedrooms and baths, but the think of it like the Nuvi 205W and Nuvi 255W just got kitchen, bath and master suite upgrades that make them stand out as easier and more enjoyable to use.

Let's take a look at what's inside and why these are worth the upgrade.

Update: The Nuvi 2x5 series has the ability to use the Garmin ecoRoute program that helps you drive more efficiently. It's not nirvana, but it can help those interested in being a little more gas conscious. See my post "Got ecoRoute?..."

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (15) | social bookmarking

October 21, 2008

Garmin GPS Icons - Halloween Set Now Available - The "Boo-Bundle"


So there are a few new Garmin Garage icons available for download to your Garmin GPS. The latest celebrates Halloween. They have poured it on lately, celebrating just about ever major holiday or Garmin-centric event that has come down the pike. That leaves them with a lot to choose from.

The Halloween ones include: This Franken-dude shown here, a Hearse, Knuckles - a bony hand, a candy corn, a witch's broom, and a ghost. All fun.

More at the Garmin Garage

Via Garmin Blogs

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

October 17, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 270 - N.America + European Maps - $159


Pretty good deal here for the Garmin Nuvi 270 - the standard screen navigator that comes preloaded with North American AND European Maps and offers voice guided (not text-to-speech) capabilities ("Turn Right in 400 Yards").

This is a pretty amazing price considering that the regular Garmin Nuvi 200 with only US Maps costs about the same price right now. It's such a great deal that it's the top selling GPS right now at Amazon! If you want an idea of the performance of the Nuvi 270, check out my Full Review of the Garmin Nuvi 200/250/270.

At Amazon - The Garmin Nuvi 270

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

October 15, 2008

Ads on your GPS - Driving the Future of GPS Capabilities?

Garmin recently announced that they are offering free traffic feeds to their Nuvi 755T, 765T, 775T and 785T units via small ads that come up every now and then. When using the Nuvi 755T for my Full Review, I found them unobtrusive, and a natural fit to what I was doing or where I was going; it got me thinking about where this will all lead. If you hadn't noticed, the stocks of Garmin and TomTom are down about 70% and 80% YTD, respectively indicating that the markets aren't convinced that these businesses have the growth ahead of them that we have seen in recent years, where 100% year over year profit growth was possible. With margins being where they are, GPS manufacturers may only be making $20 on each low end device, which is not a lot when you consider the work that they are doing to get such a device to the market. The idea of ad supported GPS units may offer the residual income that so many businesses seek with their offerings from Tivos to razors and satellite radios. What's the potential for GPS?

Ad Supported FM-based Traffic Feeds - Quick Ad, POI Listing


These are here now, with the Garmin introductions. Previously costing users about $60+ a year Traffic feeds give you the ability to route around traffic problems is big. I have long thought that this is a huge need that is partially met by the current mix of data feeds and low bandwidth capabilities of the FM-based TMC network (or MSN network). Broad swaths of generalized traffic trends allow good GPS units to help figure out the big problem spots. Big step up from the guy in the traffic copter. The ads are small (shown right - an ad from the Nuvi 755T) and when tapped connect you to a Points of Interest list of those stores or locations - pretty basic, but it's a start. Basic ads gives you $60 a year in value.

Intelligent Ads with Unique Offers - Daily Use

With the launch of the Dash Express this year, two way connected GPS units starbuckslogoRT.jpgushered in the wave of higher bandwidth more intelligent data feeds. With better bandwidth and better interactivity, a more intelligent ad network can be had too. Can you imagine the confluence of a few data feeds to drive targeted marketing: 1) "Home" location and zip code, 2) Frequent search topics on the GPS, 3) Current location, 4) Time of Day, and 5) Travel habit profiling - daily commuter vs. business traveler. With this information fed back to ad servers, highly targeted offers can be made, and thus be more lucrative for the GPS make

  • If you ever search for a coffee shop in the afternoons while on the road, why wouldn't Starbucks send you an ad when you are within a less than mile of their store with a coupon code for $1 off your Venti?
  • If you are a business traveler, why wouldn't restaurants start pushing ads for dinner when it's later in the day knowing that you always look for a place to eat when you are on the road?
  • When Target knows that you drive to their parking lot every other week, why wouldn't they send the latest announcement to entice you back and keep you as a loyal shopper?

The possibilities are either endless or scary depending on your sentiment, but this is all dependent on a two way exchange of data between a highly intelligent GPS, and a data crunching server somewhere. For this you'll need connected GPS. Better, more targeted ads could possibly cover the current $120+ per year annual fee for this cellular connected service. While you are at it, throw in free Map Updates once this model matures. Advanced Targeting, rich ads = Higher Value Freebies like a connected subscription and free map updates.

Interface, Interface, Interface

Like the rule of real estate where location is king, the interface rules the GPS world, and only a couple of makers are currently up to the task. I am pretty sure that Garmin worked hard to make sure that their initial offering with the Nuvi 755T and its siblings was very well thought out made to be not at all polarizing. The next step of bringing richer, more obtrusive and more informational ads will bring new challenges. With the maturation of the Web, and the serving of its ads (Think Google here), the idea of data crunching and serving up relevant ads seems like a small hurdle, it's striking that balance between obnoxious and unseen. We all hate pop-up ads on a web page, but we won't swerve off the road trying to "X" out of them while sitting at our computer desk; these can't be the norm on a GPS device. Advertisers won't pay to be unseen either. The true art will be knowing the consumer and knowing how to subtly bump them while not interfering with the navigation experience.

There are a lot of possibilities for rewards if ads are done right, and the potential to save the GPS companies from this recent slide, but ads need to be expertly integrated into the interface so that they are seamless and relevant. If they are, consumer, and businesses will benefit through better services and better offerings. Looks like a lot of fun ahead; I can't wait to see the possibilities.

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

October 14, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 265WT - Widescreen and Lifetime Traffic


Garmin has a nice widescreen entry with the Nuvi 265WT, that offers a lot of capability in a lower tier model within reach for most GPS buyers. The Nuvi 265WT was announced in August 2008, along with the Nuvi 265T and Nuvi 275T.

The Nuvi 265WT offers Text to Speech and Lifetime Traffic with a departure from the older 3-month free trial and a monthly subscription after that. This is TMC based traffic service that is served over the FM airwaves. The Nuvi 265WT has the newest Garmin interface that I like a lot - it has subtle changes that make a big difference. The distance to turn is in the upper left corner with the turn indicator next to it - easy to see and quick too. The speed limit indicator is down the left side also making that time glancing at the left side of the screen pretty productive. I used this interface extensively in reviewing the Nuvi 255W, the sister unit to the Nuvi 265WT, and thought that it was a big improvement to the overall system. For more information on the Nuvi 255W, and the new Garmin interface, see My Full Review of the Nuvi 255W.

The new Nuvi 2x5 models come with the enhancements that you get with the rest of the 2x5 line, including:

  • New faster processor, making for a faster routing and map drawing.
  • New shaded elevation maps.
  • Garmin HotFix capability to automatically calculate and store satellite locations so that you will be able to turn the unit on and go a lot faster greatly reducing satellite acquisition time.
  • Geolocated Picture capability - Download geotagged photos to the Garmin to be able to navigate to a loaded picture; works with Google's Panoramio photo sharing community and Garmin Connect Photos website.

With all of these features, the Garmin Nuvi 265T, and 265WT seem to be a very well appointed and well targeted to the masses. The Nuvi 265WT will expand to a 4.3-inch screen, and Bluetooth Handsfree capabilities to work with your compatible Bluetooth phone.

The Nuvi 265WT has text to speech turn directions; "Turn left on Main Street."

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

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