January 23, 2011

TeleNav Founder Bob Rennard Video Interview - Helped Design GPS System

TeleNav is a key supplier of mobile phone based navigation and was founded by one of the original engineers on the US GPS satellite system. Bob Rennard is currently their CTO.

I had a Q&A with Bob Rennard in 2009, where he relayed a few details of the early work on the GPS systems, and now Telenav has put together this video of another interview, giving insight into what life was like in the early years and what his point of view is on the GPS system. I like his "Wow Moments" in the development of the GPS field.

Check it out:

More information on products and services at Telenav

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

January 5, 2011

Escort Radar Detector/GPS Mash-up the Passport iQ


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 1, 2011

New Years Resolutions - Navigation you should be considering....

Happy New Year - here's looking ahead to a great 2011. As the new year calendar gets hung, and the page turns, you may be considering a new navigation device for the new year. Some didn't get exactly what they wanted for the holidays, and it's time to look for what you really want.

Garmin Nuvi 3790T/3790 LMT - This is the best stand alone PND/GPS that I have ever used. The high resolution multi-touch display is impressive and changes for the better, the navigation experience. For an extra $50 you get the Lifetime Map and Traffic version (LMT); given that new maps cost at least $50 annually, this is a pretty good upgrade. See my full Review of the Nuvi 3790T/3790 LMT.

TomTom Navigator for the iPhone - TomTom continues to upgrade the iPhone Application with no up-charge for the continuously increasing set of features. It's feature set has grown to include Lane Guidance, Text to Speech, Navigation to your contact addresses, Google Search for addresses, and most recently they added MapShare to help keep your maps updated. Easy to use and always right on your phone. Keep a car charger handy because the GPS use and screen always on status drains the battery over a couple of hours. Read a recent post about their recent upgrade to version 1.6 and my original review of the TomTom Navigation App. Fairly inexpensive - Available at TomTom iTunes App Store

Inrix Traffic App for the iPhone - This is free for the basic version and only $20 annually for the Pro version with added features. While there is traffic enabled on many GPS devices, none can rival the quality and ease of use of the Inrix Traffic App. It doesn't navigate, but it can tell you a lot of detail about traffic in your area right down to surface roads in major urban areas. Their network is vast and the data is easily digested. For the iPhone or iPad - Inrix at iTunes App Store

Getting in shape this new year?

Fisica Sensor for the iPhone - This little sensor enables your iPhone to capture any ANT+ sensor output meaning it can grab and show you your heart rate, cadence or power meter output if they are on the ANT+ technology standard. I use MapMyRide (Part of the MapMy Fitness family which has several versions for your exercise type) which has been improved several ways recently to better incorporate the new data feeds. You can get voice prompts from the application on workout progress while the MapMyRide+ version for a few dollars adds iPod listening support from inside the App. See my Review of the Fisica Sensor and MapMyRide

Garmin Edge 800 - The uber-cycle computer offers navigation and wireless data capture over the ANT+ wireless spectrum that runs through this touchscreen bike computer. The information leaves data hounds awash in data feeds during and after the ride to keep you happy in the analysis. I like the fact that I can easily add on a few miles and not get lost on rides; I just navigate back to a landmark or home if needed. More information on the Garmin Edge 800.

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

November 16, 2010

Global Market Shares for GPS Makers - Market Down 12%

Digitimes, always good for some GPS/PND insight every now and then, offered a look this morning at the Global market share from a recent Canalys report. The verdict? PND volume is down 12.4% globally.

The market share of TomTom in the US is up dramatically from 20% in Q3 2009, to 31% in Q3 2010. While they are surging, they are still a ways behind Garmin who is at about 58% share in the US market. The TomTom share has to be coming out of the contraction of other brands.

Globally, Garmin holds 34.1%, TomTom 30.9% and a much lower 8.2% for Mitac/Magellan/Navman.

ReadMore at Digitimes

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

November 11, 2010

New GPS Satellite Operational - GPS IIF - More Capabilities

I Tweeted about this already this morning, but thought I would post for all to see. (Follow us if you don't already on Twitter). The new GPS satellite (#31 in the air), is operational and brings several new improvements to the GPS constellation that make for a bright GPS future. Quick rundown:

  • Military Channel more resistant to jamming - remember that North Korea just boasted about having GPS jamming trucks?
  • New Civilian high power signal to help airplanes operate with GPS for better positioning accuracy saving time and fuel
  • New Civilian signal can cooperate with other signals to eventually offer sub-meter accuracy - yea baby!
  • Update ability - need to fix something; they can upload new patches and new software more easily
  • Longer operational expected life - plan is for 12+ years, longer than the current crop that is already operating 3X expected life. Like the fact that it is saving me money when we don't need to replace them so soon.

Only one of the new generation in orbit now, but they are expected to be the "backbone" over the coming 15-18 years.

ReadMore on the New Generation of GPS Satellites

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

November 5, 2010

Amazon $100,000 Wishlist Sweepstakes


Hey, we know that you keep up on the latest GPS units and their prices, and a lot of people trust Amazon for good prices and good customer service on GPS units. As such we thought we would pass this along; the chance to win a $100,000 Amazon sweepstakes. We figured that with the economy as it is, and $100K up for grabs, you might just want to take a shot.

The deal is that you need to add and then use the Amazon Wishlist toolbar to your browser; a bit of a pain, but a small task if you end up winning the grande (and only) prize of $100K in the form of a gift card.

At Amazon - See the main Amazon Wish & Win $100,000 Sweepstakes page for more information

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

November 2, 2010

Breadcrumbs - New GPS Track Management Service

Breadcrumbs just launched their service today and it let's you manage your GPS tracks like you would a set of photos, assign them to an event or an outing type, group them together, edit them and then share them with friends. I have been playing with the Beta version for about a week now, and now have tested out the live version this morning.

With Breadcrumbs, you are able to load still photos and movies with your friends too by dropping them on the GPS track (automated through their process), which allows you to create a story out of your GPS track and tell it to others. It lets them click on the picture, movie or waypoints that you dropped to learn more about the outing. When you are done, share it on Facebook, or grab the link to the trip and share it out with others via email, etc.. The Facebook integration is automatic if you want to tie the services together. I posted the ride to my FB account; here's what it will look like.

ArrowContinue reading: "Breadcrumbs - New GPS Track Management Service"

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

October 15, 2010

GPS Lodge Mobile App for iPhone, Android, and Other Smart Phones

Our mobile app has been discontinued.
Jay Brewer at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

September 29, 2010

Delorme PN-60W wins Popular Mechanics Breakthrough Award


The Delorme PN-60W is the first of its kind; a GPS linked to the SPOT satellite communicator that enables you to send location information as well as short messages (think SMS) to others in the outside world no matter where you are on earth (well almost anywhere - See the SPOT coverage). Try that with your mobile phone! We think the capability is pretty cool, and apparently so does Popular Mechanics because they recognized it as one of the best products of 2010 (is the year over yet?)

The PN-60W joins a pretty good group of winners including the Nissan Leaf electric car, the Chevy Volt, and a pretty amazing compound mitre saw from Bosch.

More cool products like the Delorme PN-60W at Popular Mechanics

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

September 10, 2010

Tough Markets Ahead - PND's on Downward Spiral

The market for Personal Navigation Devices (standalone units) has been in a downward spiral since the market peak in 2008 according to a recent Reuters article. The recession couldn't have helped as the markets reach the saturation point. As the big makers try to diversify their offerings, Garmin's move into the smartfone business has been a less than rewarding experience that clearly isn't meeting their expectations for the Nuvifone products.

As the market shrinks, prices continue to drop, although at a slowing rate. Both the prices for PND's and navigation Apps on smartphones continue to drop with significant price pressure going forward. Garmin expects a flattening of the price curve as the steep price drops year over year are a thing of the past.

More on the topic at Reuters

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

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