February 27, 2007

New GPS Navigation Systems at CeBit 2007

There are a couple of tradeshows that capture all the cool GPS navigation system stuff coming out, and while the CES show is a biggie for the US, the CeBit show is a big show in Europe for the introduction of new GPS units. This year CeBit 2007 takes place in Hannover Germany March 15 - 21.

The big players are there along with a lot of the others who are dying to get their GPS unit in your hands. Following the developments and announcements (or lack of announcements) at CES 2007, I would expect a few things:

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

February 21, 2007

TomTom Voices

TomTomVoices.jpgIf you have a TomTom and are looking to inject a little fun into your drive, you should check out some additional voices that can be had for your TomTom GPS system. There are a wide range of voices, some free voices for the TomTom’s, fun voices, rude voices, sexy voices, and more. You can listen to a sample of the voice, and then an actual turn instruction at the SatNav site. You can really screw with your passengers switching back and forth between the voice God and some sexy rude one like Sabrina. You can get “Mr. T” type voices, mafia sounding voices, and a cat “voice” that seems to emit cat sounds at any turn.

Check out more at SatNav Voices

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February 16, 2007

Using a GPS is Safer and Less Stressful

TomTom has released news that operating a car with a GPS/Sat-nav device makes drivers less stressed and safer than drivers not using a GPS device (especially when driving in unfamiliar territory. Several companies, including TomTom, commissioned the study. The bottom line is that when driving in unfamiliar areas, the navigation device helps you in ways that make sense, they get you there with more confidence, less stress, and by traveling less distance (not as many back tracks, etc).

An overview of the study can be found below…

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February 15, 2007

The Best in GPS Systems

CNN has put out what they term the Best in GPS; a four spot list. These lists are often eye candy for the quick surf, and this one is no different. No in depth understanding or reviews here. Although they do hit on some good ones:

  • RIM Blackberry Pearl paired with TeleNav GPS module – for on the go road warrior mapping and navigation.
  • Garmin Nuvi 660 – big widescreened GPS was knocked on a few fine points. They cited a lack of map detail (Garmin actually has a patent on limiting map clutter so that you can see where you are going properly – I see it as a plus, but am not exactly sure what the author is referring to), and sometimes inferior routing. Read My In-Depth Review of the Garmin Nuvi 660.
  • Navman N40i – liked for its external buttons.
  • TomTom ONE – an all around navigator (now running well below $400). Read My Review of the TomTom ONE.

    ReadMore on their listing at CNN

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • February 14, 2007

    GlobalSat GV-307

    The GlobalSat GV-307 is a new entry that has some features that will stack up well to many of the popular GPS systems out there. The unit comes with pre-loaded maps of the US and Canada on a 2GB SD card, and a 3.5 inch touchscreen. The unit pulls in the satellite signals through a SiRF star III chipset and uses NAVTEQ maps. The unit also has a built in Li-Ion battery and weighs in at about 6.5 ounces. It's got millions of Points of Interest to help you get to where you are going.

    The unit is available directly from US Globalsat for $359.

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

    February 7, 2007

    iPod with WiFi, GPS?

    Word is coming out of Pocket Lint that an analyst believes that the Next Gen iPod could be coming with WiFi and GPS. With the recent announcement of the iPhone, people have been buzzing about the potential for navigation possibilities out of Apple. I get the WiFi; and I want to download music directly to my iPod, Mr. Jobs. But a GPS?

    Imagine that the iPod is the central entertainment hub in most cars as manufacturers crawl out of the primordial ooze and finally realize that they need to provide MP3 player connections via hardwires on all new models.... and the iPod has GPS and navigation capabilities. You instantly have your music and navigation playing through your stereo (Unless you want to listen to the radio).

    Screen real estate starts to be an issue if you really need visual prompts. The news is that the new iPods might start to take on the iPhone form factor, which is not a huge stretch and is a very likely move. Even if they don't I would imagine the touch sensitivity controls of the iPhone will carryover to the new iPods, even if the form factor doesn't.

    Anyway, I would welcome Apple based navigation to the party; I think that their design and attention to usability would benefit people in this area. They need navigation on the iPhone, and navigation as part of a bigger solution on the iPod might be a welcome addition too; we'll see.


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

    February 1, 2007

    u-Blox unveils Galileo Ready Chip

    u-blox AG will unveil u-blox 5, a GPS and Galileo-ready chip featuring an acquisition performance of less than one second, at the 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona. The big thing here in my mind is that the chip will track 50 channels, at low power consumption allowing it to work well in portable devices that can also track while indoors.

    More after the jump….

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    January 26, 2007

    Sony Kills the NAV U80 and 81T Plans

    News is coming out that Sony is putting on hold their higher end NAV-U80 and U81T that were to be widescreened units holding down the top of their GPS line. They announced the line expansion last year, with plans to have the models in the market quickly. Things didn’t go so well for them with the original launch of the NAV-U70, as the sales seemed to disappoint. Philips recently announced that they are backing off from the GPS market, and canceling plans as a result of margin erosion and tough competition. One has to think that with Garmin and TomTom locking up distribution outlets for the higher end devices, it would be hard to get a toehold for your expanded line, even with the GPS category expanding at breakneck speeds. Success has been seen by companies willing to discount their way into the market, like Mio’s huge splash over the holiday’s last year. They are firmly in people’s minds as a result.

    Anyway, apparently Sony is still looking at launching the NAV U51 and U71T, the follow-up to their first entry.

    ReadMore at YourNav

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

    January 25, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 680 Full Review


    -A Hands on Review by GPSLodge-

    The recently announced Garmin Nuvi 680 is a widescreen, bright, flat form factor GPS system that is based on one of the best GPS units out there, if not the best, the Nuvi 660. The key difference is that the Nuvi 680 has the capability to get information updates from the MSN Direct service that provides data feeds over the FM band in many major cities across the US.

    "Having the MSN Direct Service onboard the Nuvi 680 is a great addition to an already excellent navigator."
    While these data feeds can be seen in gizmos like this Melitta Coffee Maker, these feeds can also be seen in other useful places like on a GPS on my dashboard! (Let's face it the Melitta wouldn't fit on the dashboard anyway.) For the Nuvi 680, it has the ability to pull down information about weather, movies, traffic and gas prices.

    For a full list of my own Full Reviews of GPS units; Click - GPSLodge.com Hands On Reviews

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (23) | social bookmarking

    January 24, 2007

    What is Text to Speech on a GPS and is it Worth it?

    A lot of readers have been asking about what Text to Speech or TTS is and why it's a good thing on a GPS. As more and more people are considering getting a GPS, the emails are piling up on this subject of Text to speech. Right now, Text to speech is available on many mid to high end GPS units, and it simply uses a voice engine to generate speech based on the text that needs "reading", so it will tell you "Turn right on Maple Street in 400 yards" instead of just "Turn right in 400 yards." It does well on many "normal" words that are easier to predict what they should sound like, but there are some names that are farther afield, and the units sometimes have a tough time with those words; understandable, but not perfect.

    It is certainly a big help when navigating, and its worth paying more money for if its in your price range. Text to speech is particularly helpful when you are navigating in a denser area where there are a lot of streets and the added assurance of the spoken street name helps you pick which street to turn onto. I think that it's also a big advantage for older drivers who find it important to concentrate on the road more, and the spoken word road specific directions are a big advantage.

    See a related article: Garmin C340, C550 stopped announcing Street Names?

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

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