So HTC has a nice little thing going with TomTom and has pumped out what looks to be a decent Smartphone The P3300) with great navigation built in. It was announced last month, and now there's a review up on what I would hope is a trend - solid smartphone navigation from people who know how to design navigation software. The imbedded TomTom software is what you’ll see in other devices from TomTom and offers the same confident and get you there personality that TomTom is known for. Anyway there’s a nice review up that takes a look at this (Euro only for now) phone that says the navigation is “seamless”. The unit is sporting a SiRF star III chipset and has the TomTom Navigator 6 software loaded up on it.
If you're hanging around here, then you probably know that the GPS market is hot, growing some 80+% this year. Well the two big seasons for the GPS are the summer driving season and the holiday season. Forbes has a nice little write-up for the investment minded people out there that paints a pretty good picture for Garmin. If you didn't already know, Garmin has a 50+% share of the US market, and net margins of around 30+%. So, yea, that new Nuvi 660 you just bought made them a couple of hundred bucks. While other companies are hot on their tails, launching new GPS units all over the place, Garmin looks to be in control this Holiday season with 70 launches this year like the Nuvi 660 (It's the best GPS I have ever used - see my review). Garmin seems to be intelligently dealing with newcomers by reducing prices enough to keep the newbies scrambling while driving sales for its own products at the same time. Earning season is coming up, expect Garmin to peg the meter again with some outrageous numbers.
So for those of you pimping out your ride with video screens, you can now add some GPS navigation to that flat screen. Dotel in Korea has put together this little wonder that will hook to your video screen (A/v or RGB cables) and pump navi commands to you when also plugged into an external GPS antenna. The SD slot allows you to load up the latest maps and MP3's and maybe even some video. The unit runs Windows CE.Net 4.2 powered by a 300MHz Samsung processor and comes with 64MB of RAM / 32MB of ROM (expandable to 1GB).
No word on availability, but to me it sounds like a solution chasing a small problem (market opportunity). Via
I saw this over at Gizmodo and thought I would pass along. I don't know if you think that this is a nightmare or heaven on earth, but it is funny to watch nonetheless. They have a decent review and round-up of GPS units over there for the bulk of the article, so if you want a good read on four GPS navigation systems, go check it out. (Why they got those four, I will never know; guess it's what they could get their hands on). The video is below, the article is HERE.
Medion has launched a broader GPS line by adding three new widescreen flat form factor GoPal devices - the GoPal PNA460, GoPal PNA465 and GoPal PNA470. All three are light (about 7 ounces), and small 5.4" x 3.8" x 0.8 ". Of course all offer navigation with 2D and 3D views, spoken guidance and are pre-loaded with NAVTEQ maps as well as interestingly enough Berlitz City Guides for 50 european cities. A speed camera database is also pre-loaded. All feature the SiRF star III chipset.
The entry-level GoPal PNA 460, with its 4.3-inch TFT widescreen has UK and Ireland maps loaded on a 256MB card. The unit also has a nice little MP3 player and picture viewer.
The three units are available in teh UK and are priced at £199, £259 and £299, respectively, which is about $350, $460, and $530.
The GoPal PNA 465 adds TMC traffic to help get around traffic jams, while the GoPal 470 includes integrated Bluetooth.
This all just underlines my thoughts that so many electronics firms are coming out with Flat Form Factor GPS units, that Flat, and WIDE are the future of GPS devices.
Cobra announced today that they are acquiring privately held Performance Products Limited, a UK firm that specializes in speed camera databases and electronics. The acquisition underlines the importance of having high quality data feeds into the GPS hardware, and the expanding role that the portable navigation device will play in the future. So, high quality maps, points of interest (locations, phone numbers and maybe even commentary on the place), and yes - speed cameras.
Don't know about you, but I think that TomTom, Garmin and other PND makers have won round one versus the automobile manufacturers, and they are setting themselves up to be the long term winners too. With the cost of an in car navigation system reaching well into the thousands of dollars, consumers are slow to jump on the bandwagon. TomTom and Garmin offer excellent PORTABLE navigation systems for about half the cost. While 90+% of your driving will be in your own car, don't you want to be able to take the GPS with you when you travel and use a rental car? What better use for a GPS then when you are in a strange city?
Interesting story over at CNN that talks of the future integration of GPS along with other technologies to help the blind navigate outside and inside. The basic idea is to use GPS navigation along with sonar and cameras to navigate around obstacles and through the maze-like interior of buildings. The idea is not to replace guide dogs or canes, but to supplement so that the world of the blind can expand. This capability goes beyond the technology we posted earlier this year that only dealt with navigation outdoors. Either way, it's all a very cool development and use of GPS.
In the short time I have had the Garmin Nuvi 660, I have to say that it’s the best GPS I have ever used. It has all of the features that make a GPS worth loving, and with its super bright widescreen, it really stands out in the sun. The slim form factor, at less than an inch thick, is great. For those who are familiar with the Garmin interface, this won’t be a huge departure from what you are used to, simplicity and ease of use reign. The integrated traffic TMC traffic receiver is a welcome addition that allows you to be aware of all the traffic issues that you can now avoid with your smart Nuvi 660 doing the navigating.
RouteBuddy is a GPS enabled Mapping Application for Mac OS X. Connect your USB Garmin to your Mac and synchronize Waypoints, Routes and Tracks with ease. RouteBuddy also works with NMEA or USGlobalSat devices to show position and additional data on a RouteBuddy Map. This release adds support for importing Geocache or GPX data, provides additional control over GPS status and position display, and addresses over thirty minor issues.
RouteBuddy is a free demo download and requires Mac OS 10.3.9. If you like it, the full software costs about $99.