January 14, 2007

New GPS at CES 2007; Awards and Wrap-up

CES GPS Award Winners

With GPS systems going mainstream, this year's CES was destined to be bigger than last year's for shear number of announcements, and without a doubt it was. Let's take a look.

Dash navigation won awards for their Dash Express GPS with WiFi and Cellular onboard radios. Garmin has caught the fever too with its Garmin Nuvi 680 and Garmin StreetPilot 580 GPS units that come connected to the MSN Direct system via SPOT technology.

Big Splash

  • Consumer Giant LG announced their intention to enter the US market with a line of four GPS units, the LN 790, LN 740, LN 735, and LN 730.
  • TomTom announced some innovations that are pretty exciting too: The Eclipse AVN2210P in dash car stereo replacement with pop out slim navigation device. TomTom also announced the ability to sell this type of built in capability to OEM car manufacturers starting this summer.
  • Well known Audiovox introduced three new GPS units under the Jensen name. The NVX1000, NVX406, and the NVX227 should hit the market this Spring.

    New Handhelds - Overlays are King
    Bushnell formally announced their ONIX 400CR, an XM Weather capable held that can overlay weather radar data on top of the map. Not to be outdone, DeLorme announced a new handheld, the DeLorme PN-20 that can do map overlays of aerial images, satellite shots (in color) as well as some very good Topo maps. "Where's Garmin?" you ask. Plenty of time for them to respond before summer.

    Thin is in

  • Mio pre-announced the Mio Digiwalker C520 and C250 GPS units that will hit the market later this year. Following their hit the Mio C310x, they are looking to move into a stronger position in the market with these thin and capable looking models. We'll get these in for review as soon as they are available.
  • The Porche designed P'9611 was introduced; thin and capable with pre-paid TMC traffic.
  • The Pocket LOOX N100 micro GPS was introduced to the US. This ultra portable GPS will compete with the Mio H610 unit.
  • Very thin, the Clifford Scout 420 is also a Sirius satellite radio conduit and all around media thingy resembling a Sony PSP. It will be interesting to watch this one to see how it does. Lots of capability, and it won an innovation award at CES 2007.

    Advanced Routing
    Pioneer AVIC-Z2 was announced. This in car stereo unit has a lot of media and GPS capabilities, including the ability to learn from you and what your favorite routes are. It will then take these roads into consideration when setting up navigation for you in the future.

    Interesting Line Extensions

  • Cobra dropped a couple of interesting units on the market with their Cobra Navone 2100, an in-expensive GPS and their NavOne 5000, which was pre-announced at the show to have a huge 5 inch touchscreen.
  • Garmin brought out some new units that have both North American and European maps pre-loaded for the jet setters: Garmin Nuvi 370, Garmin Nuvi 670.
  • Garmin announced the Zumo 450 a lower cost motorcycle unit that is capable of a lot out on the road.

    Big Shake-up?
    While not at the CES 2007 show, the Apple iPhone was announced last week, and we have to wonder what the GPS capabilities will be like. Of course it will have emergency location capabilities, but it has Google Maps, and one has to think that the folks at Cupertino are thinking ahead and noticing the booming navigation market. The market is set to explode on mobile phone based navigation systems, as more people have capable phones and as more carriers push the service (for extra fees and revenue). I can't imagine that the Apple and Cingular folks would leave this hole as a competitive disadvantage versus so much of the market. Cingular is already working with TeleNav on mobile phone based navigation, so we'll see on this one.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Route 66 GPS: Chicago 9000 Review


    Route 66 announced a new line of very attractive GPS navigation systems back in September for the European market. The line is essentially based on a single chassis and moves you up from regional coverage, to Pan-Euro coverage while also adding the TMC traffic receiver to the higher end models as you climb the line. The design of the unit is very appealing, and is thin, thin, thin. Who wants bulky anyway?

    Well a nice review has hit the internet and taken a look at this Euro-only GPS that is curiously names Chicago? (Will they call it the Monacao when they launch it in the US?) The folks at YourNav have teamed up with a reader to write about this strong looking market entry from Route 66. They are reportedly using a widescreen that is similar to the Nuvi 660; big and bright. I like it already.

    The unit ships with an installed database of speed cameras that is fairly extensive but as these things change, you’ll want to keep the database updated. More important in Europe than in the US for now. Anyway, it sounds like Route 66 has a winner, as YourNav give it a thumbs up for its great screen, easy to understand directions and the included TMC traffic capability. I like the screen shots and the flexibility to put the data across the bottom of the screen or move it to the side of the big W-I-D-E screen.

    We'll have to keep an eye on Route 66. If things go well in Europe, look for a North American lauch too.

    Read the Full Reivew at YourNav

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

    Slope Tracker Ski tracking with a GPS

    Mentioned this before, but thought we would put this up for your consideration as the skiing season out west is on fire with all the snow. This program rents you a GPS for the day that you wear, and then at the end of the day they download the information and print out a map of your travels, including some key stats on your day. Of course you get to go up against their database of others to see how you compete in some areas like overall vertical covered, etc. On any given day you can track the number of runs, vertical feet, speed, calories burned, distance traveled and more via this GPS tracking system. At the end of the day they get a color print out detailing their accomplishments.

    You can use their GPS tracking service at these Ski areas:

  • Park City
  • Telluride
  • Copper Mountain
  • Winter Park
  • Keystone
  • Hafjell (Norway)

    The Slope Tracker costs about $20 a day, and gets you a fancy printout.

    ReadMore at SlopeTracker

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • January 11, 2007

    Pocket LOOX N100 in US

    Fujitsu Siemens and NAVIGON announced the Pocket LOOX N100 to the U.S. market at the CES 2007 show. This light, compact, and ultra-portable is another small, highly pocketable GPS that changes how we think about GPS navigation units. This is a similar type product to the Mio H610 GPS that I reviewed late last year. Small, feature-rich for those on the go. The Pocket LOOX N100 will be on sale in the Spring for a list price of $499.

    Designed for dynamic lifestyles – business people, over-scheduled soccer moms, anyone on the go – the Pocket LOOX measures 0.6 inches (16mm) thin and weighs 3.9 ounces (110 grams), making it the thinnest and smallest multifunctional PND available. This pocket-sized device delivers heavyweight performance in a featherweight package as the perfect travel companion. Featuring the largest display in its class, the Pocket LOOX 2.8 inch color screen is comparable to its heftier predecessors. The device, powered by a five-hour rechargeable lithium-ion battery, also sports a built-in MP3 player, video player, photo viewer and computer games in a trendy design that can hang off a keychain. The Pocket LOOX guarantees one-click operation; directed by NAVIGON’s customized MobileNavigator (MN) Premium™ software featuring touch screen capabilities and a multilingual user interface.

    The Pocket LOOX is the first U.S. device to leverage the advantages of NAVIGON’s MN Premium software for rich and easy-to-use, audio-guided navigation. The company’s category-leading map display provides lane information, point-of-interest searches with branded icons along the route, speed limit information and warnings, road signs, and GPS auto-follow in tunnels – features typically reserved for high-end products.

    The Pocket LOOX is sold with a Mini SD card (up to 2 GB), car holder, car charger, AC adapter, USB cable, headphones, two face plates, and a quick reference guide. Additional information is available at www.navigonusa.com.

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

    DeLorme PN-20 Handheld GPS

    As part of CES 2007, DeLorme has finally announced and put out information on its handheld, the Earthmate GPS PN-20, a color screened capable looking GPS. The unit will put mapping and maps front and center in its execution. The unit will be capable of displaying DeLorme’s excellent Topo maps and their street maps that make the PN-20 a route generating handheld. With its color screen and these features it will put it up for competition against some of the best handhelds on the market. The unit’s launch is as significant as the recent Bushnell launch of the ONIX 200 CR that has similar layering capabilities of maps and images under your basemaps to allow you to see where you are in a realistic (satellite image) situation (see images below).

    The unit will comes with the ability to download maps, again similar to Bushnell, and you will pay for them. The units ship with some free maps/satellite images/aerial images, up to several hundred square kilometers, which isn't bad. My expereience is that you might want to download for targeted areas anyway, so a state park for example, and not a whole state itself, so this may not be a big expense in the long run.

    The unit will be available in various bundles atarting at $369 at the DeLorme website.

    ArrowContinue reading: "DeLorme PN-20 Handheld GPS"

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

    January 10, 2007

    JVC EXAD NX5000


    JVC is stepping up at the CES 2007 show with the announcement of the high end JVC EXAD KD-NX5000 head unit that packs a lot of power into a single din high space. The navigation and entertainment unit features a 3.5 inch screen and holds a 40GB hard drive (16MB for navigation and 24MB for music) that is the basis for a lot of POI (13 million) and a lot of songs - up to 5,000 songs. The unit comes with built in maps of North America, and comes with TMC traffic capabilities, as well as Bluetooth handsfree pairing with up to 5 mobile phones. The unit is iPod ready with an optional KS-PD1000 adapter, and able to hook up to a rearview camera system to boot.

    Press Release Follows:

    ArrowContinue reading: "JVC EXAD NX5000"

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

    World's Smallest GPS Chip - Hammerhead II


    So, after all this mess about TomTom ONE and what chips they are using going forward, Global Locate and Infineon announced today that they are ready to produce the world's smallest GPS chip, named the Hammerhead II.

    Infineon Technologies and Global Locate, Inc. today announced the successful development of the industry's smallest Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver chip for mobile telephones, smart phones and personal navigation devices.

    Based on the successful Hammerhead chip, the new Hammerhead II chip is optimized for cellular handsets and mobile devices requiring high performance, low power and an extremely small footprint. The diminutive single-die chip measures only 3.74 mm x 3.59 mm x 0.6 mm, for a total footprint of less than 14 mm squared, resulting in the world's smallest GPS receiver.

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

    January 9, 2007

    Porche P'9611 GPS with Navigon Onboard


    At CES 2007 NAVIGON offered the U.S. a sneak peek at the new P’9611 GPS by Porsche Design Group, a design that’s been kicking around in the wings for a while, and now it’s on display ahead of its Summer 2007 release. Designed as the ultimate luxury navigation product, the P’9611 packages the intuitive, full-featured NAVIGON experience in a super-sleek, timeless form factor.

    They will be offering Subscription FREE traffic for the lifetime of the product from NAVIGON – this is standard in Europe, but not in the US, where annual subscriptions are usually around $60.

    Separately, Navigon announced an agreement with ClearChannel to include TMC traffic in units that has their software with the cost of the traffic essentially included upfront. This will make the use of TMC traffic easier, and I would imagine drive adoption of the idea more broadly. The only issue will be if people walk away form the initial purchase due to the potentially higher cost of the unit.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Porche P'9611 GPS with Navigon Onboard"

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

    Dual XNav4310 GPS


    Dual Electronics introduced a widescreen GPS with multimedia playback capabilities at CES 2007, dubbed the XNAV4310. The Dual XNAV4310 has a 4.3 inch widescreen and comes with the continental US maps and POI pre-loaded on a 1GB SD card. The unit can also run MP3 and AVI/video files, presumably loaded via the SD card slot, which makes you wonder if the unit can navigate while playing music.

    We’ll look for more information and get back.

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

    January 8, 2007

    TomTom and Eclipse Launch the AVN2210P

    EclipseAVN2210p.jpgAt CES 2007, Eclipse announced that they are working with TomTom to put out the AVN2210p a Double DIN media hub for the car, with a detachable GPS unit. The 3.5 inch display is driven by TomTom navigation software, and come loaded with North American maps on a small SD card. The detachable navigation unit incorporates a GPS antenna, built-in speaker and rechargeable battery, making it fully operable independently when removed from the main unit. Users can also access TomTom PLUS services including weather and traffic reports.

    The media hub can run FM/AM, CD, CD-R/RW, MP3 and WMA files can be enjoyed even when the navigation section is removed. Additional source options include USB memory devices with MP3 music, iPod, Bluetooth enabled cellular phones for hands-free calls, and digital satellite radio tuners (XM/Sirius).

    The unit should retail for about $900 list price and be available in the Spring.

    Via CRAVE

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

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