November 1, 2008

Nextar M3, M3-01, M3-03 GPS Systems


Nextar has a fairly large line of GPS models, with the M3 series making up an entry level standard screen (3.5-inch) set of units that anchor the line. The Nextar M3 and the M3-03 come with 1.6 million Points of Interest (a little light), voice guided directions with text to speech, maps of the 50 states, and offers automatic recalculation of routes should you miss a turn. The Nextar M3 also plays MP3s. The Nextar M3-01 has similar capabilities, but does not offer Text to speech (says street names). I reviewed the Nextar Q4-01 earlier this year an while it's a widescreen unit, it will give you a good overview of the interface capabilities and overall performance of the Nextar models.

More info at the Nextar Website

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

October 29, 2008

TomTom Profits off 41% - How Bad is it Out There?

We all know that we are going through some tough times economically, and that this holiday season is not going to be a normal one - the potential for low spending, deep discounts and low profits for the GPS companies. We may not be talking about consumers win, GPS companies take it on the chin here; we may be talking consumers lose, they lose, when we get great deals and then they go out of business.

TomTom just released results and their earnings are DOWN 41% in the most recent quarter. They had discounting, as well as increased costs which led to the drop, but one might say that they needed to discount this way to get inventory moving. In the holiday season last year, they deeply discounted and gained market share as a result, but that always comes at a cost to earnings.

In this Business Week article, it also talks about the market concerns over TomTom's recent renegotiation of their debt load, partially brought on through the TeleAtlas purchase. TomTom just recently renegotiated it's debt, easing those fears, but it's another sign that things are bad.

To be clear, the stock market isn't just punishing TomTom, Garmin is getting hit as well. Not sure where this will end up it the two market leaders are hurting, where does that leave the others?

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

October 21, 2008

Nextar ME Launching at SEMA


Nextar is ready to introduce the ME, a slim navigation system that comes pre-loaded with Tele Atlas maps. At only 0.7" thickness, it can be easily moved for use in multiple vehicles. The Nextar ME features a 3.5 inch touch-screen display, 1.6-million points of interest, 50 U.S. maps, text-to-speech, and includes a host of portable media player for functions like MP3 playing and JPEG image viewing. The ME will be available at leading retailers across the US with a SRP of $129.99 in Spring 2009.

Text-to-Speech and 50 State Maps at a list price of $129 that will effectively be less than that in the spring sounds like it will continue to drive the competition for features up while the price points continue to drop.

More information after the jump......

ArrowContinue reading: "Nextar ME Launching at SEMA"

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

October 19, 2008

Insignia GPS NS CNV-10 Connected GPS - Unboxing & First Impressions Review


UPDATE: See my Full Review of the Insignia CNV-10/CNV-20 - a Must Read BEFORE you waste your money.

The new Insignia Connected GPS unit is shipping and I thought I would grab a new Insignia GPS NS CNV-10 Connected GPS over the weekend to check out the Best Buy house brand's new connected GPS out, then put up a First Impressions Review. The CNV-10 and CNV-20 units just became available and are the second brand of connected GPS to hit the US market; the first being the Dash Express. The benefits of having a connected GPS can be numerous, but for now, the Insignia is counting on better traffic data, better search results through Google, and the ability to email locations straight to your GPS from websites like Google Maps. The Insignia CNV-10 offers a 3.5-inch screen while the CNV-20 offers the 4.3-inch widescreen.

A quick trip to Best Buy had me walk out with the goods and a few hundred dollars lighter ($399 + Tax). The box reminds you that you had better like this or else, with its 15% re-stocking fee reminder. Open the box up and you'll find the diminutive unit set in a large cardboard holder, which when removed will reveal the rest of the ingredients that will make up the entire batch of connected GPS goodness.


More after the Jump......

ArrowContinue reading: "Insignia GPS NS CNV-10 Connected GPS - Unboxing & First Impressions Review"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

October 14, 2008

DeCarta Connected Navigation Ready to Launch

Interesting development here that deCarta is launching it's own Connected Navigation (CNav)capability where it is serving as the engine behind the interface. The CNav (yea; we needed a good acronym for this term), capability will go a long way to trying to match the Dash Navigation capabilities that burst onto the market back in March.

The connected capability will give connected search (Think Google), as well as offer a bigger data pipe for sending more finely tuned traffic data down to the GPS devices. This means that not only can you get faster updates across a broader set of roads, but you can also get finer resolution on where jams start and end.

According to their website their traffic engine appears to use the Inrix data feeds to deliver broad coverage in dozens of metro areas.

Should be interesting to see who and what comes along using the deCarta engine.

Press Release after the jump......

ArrowContinue reading: "DeCarta Connected Navigation Ready to Launch"

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

October 8, 2008

Azentec SmartMiroor with Navigon Navigation on Sale in Q4


Azentec has their SmartMirror coming to market in the last quarter of the year, at a price of $799. The mirror features an integrated GPS and back-up camera feed for a lot of functionality at your fingertips. The Navigon based navigation system has Text-to-Speech while also offering Navigon's Lane Assist and Reality View capabilities. Finally, it's Bluetooth capable for handsfree calling - a nice feature to have right there in the car - all the time. This YouTube video shows some of the features of the SmartMirror.

More at Azentec's website

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

October 3, 2008

Insignia GPS - Connected Search NS-CNV20 and NS-CNV10


UPDATE: See my Full Review of the Insignia CNV-10/CNV-20 - a Must Read BEFORE you waste your money.

Best Buy is letting go a pair of pretty advanced GPS units that have connected search via Google. Hum, was that the long fabled Magellan 5340 connected unit that never made it to market? Or is that still coming? Best Buy is certainly making a big leap into GPS, in an an especially difficult end of the pool here. The entry level end is flodded with cheap brands and a lot of fairly inexpensive units from the big guys. Dash Navigation has their Dash Express that has incredible connected capabilities, but has had a tough time breaking through with their entry.

The Best Buy Insignia 4.3-inch NS-CNV20 and 3.5-inch NS-CNV10 models, will use a cellular modem to deliver real-time traffic information and Google Local Search. Cost will be $499 for the NS-CNV20 and $399 for the smaller screen NS-CNV10. The nice thing is that the unit has a free subscription to the service for a year - no word on pricing after that.

On sale at your local Best Buy October 19.

Via Twice and GPS Tracklog - Photo via Engadget

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

September 8, 2008

How to Hijack a GPS Tracked Truck - GPS Spoofing

Interesting post on how it is possible to use a strong GPS signal to override cargo truck GPS devices so that they keep transmitting an "On Route" signal back to the home base, all while you or your accomplices are turning off into no man's land to steal the cargo and head off for the black market.

With trucks being tracked by GPS units these days, it's hard to just take a truck without setting off alarms and sending out the police as a result. Well, by sending erroneous signal so the truck makes it think that it is on its proper route, home base will never know it was hijacked and was just taken off-route on the way to a truck awaiting the cargo switch.

Read more at Philosecurity

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

September 4, 2008

LAT LON Sign Customized for Your Town


I saw this and I had to pass it along. This sign can be customized for your home town. Give them your town and state and they will pull down the Latitude and Longitude coordinates on the sign. IT's about 5-inches high and about 16-inches long.

At LLBean - Lat Lon Sign

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

August 28, 2008

Sony Launches New GPS Line: NV-U94T, NV-U84, NV-U74T, NV-U44


Sony announced a nice update to their line of GPS units. The Top of the line, billed as a luxury GPS, NV-U94T ($400 SRP) has an extra large screen at 4.8-inches (16:9 ratio), compared with the normal widescreen of 4.3-inches. The "T" means traffic which is fed through RDS-TMC system over the FM airwaves. The Bluetooth enabled unit will allow for handsfree calling on compatible phones. The unit also comes with Position Plus which uses an accelerometer to help guide you while you are moving through tunnels. A nice thing when you live in a place like Boston where there are multiple tunnels under the city with exit ramps. The Sony GPS line will continue to use a gesture command to control the unit with flicks of the finger; quick stroke means "Go Home" which can be a nice shortcut.

The NV-U84 ($350 SRP) is a more affordable extra large screen at 4.8-inches, while offering a lot of the features of the higher level NV-U94T, without the Bluetooth or traffic. The NV-U74T ($300 SRP) has a normal widescreen at 4.3-inches but includes such features as Bluetooth, traffic, and the gesture command.

The NV-U44 ($250 SRP) is a standard screen (3.5-inch) unit that offers text to speech, gesture command and a photo viewer.

Pre-orders are being taken at Sony Style, and a quick look there has a ship date of September 10th.

Full Press Release and more information after the jump...

ArrowContinue reading: "Sony Launches New GPS Line: NV-U94T, NV-U84, NV-U74T, NV-U44"

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

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