September 8, 2010

Bridgestone GPS Ad

Bridgestone isn't the most prolific maker of ads, but they sure have some good ones; the moon vehicle that gets its tires stolen is a memorable one.

If you haven't seen the recent "GPS" one where the GPS satellite gets hit with some space junk and then an onboard GPS starts sending out some odd directions, then you should hit play below. Is it me, or does that GPS look like a Garmin?


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August 31, 2010

Grab a GPS for Labor Day Road Trip

Thumbnail image for Garminnuvi255w.jpg

I wanted to highlight a few GPS units that might help you out this weekend if you are hitting the road. I have been offering advice on some cheaper units that can help out wayward travelers looking for a good deal. You can always venture into Refurbs for the best deal, but some are not interested in the risk.

Garmin Nuvi 255W - widescreen go-to unit that is right-priced at $119 at BestBuy right now as well as Amazon. See my review for more information but the unit covers most needs with a good set of features, namely widescreen, good maps and text to speech. And no, this unit isn't part of the recall.

TomTom Widescreen Best Bets Depending on the outlet:

At Amazon - The TomTom XL 325S
- a widescreen text to speech unit offering maps of the US. On sale for $114.

At BestBuy - TomTom XL 335 LE - Widescreen, Text to Speech unit that should be available for store pick-up (backordered online) - Price is $129


Safe travels.....


.

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August 16, 2010

Write on Google Earth with GPS Logger - Read Ayn Rand


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So I liked Atlas Shrugged, but I don't think I would drive over 12,000 miles to "write" Read Ayn Rand with a GPS Logger ticking away the miles so I could display my passion for the author on Google Earth, but that's what Nick Newcomen did recently. He's a fan and wants to urge others to read the influential author's works. You can view it in Google Earth yourself at his site.

He used a Qstarz BT-Q1000X data logger, switching it on and off as he drove to write the letters. Starting in Texas, he wrote "RAND" first according to Wired. Glad he's a fan, I wonder if he drove through Galt's Gulch in Colorado on his trip?

More at Wired

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April 1, 2010

GPS Inventor R. Easton Inducted into Inventor Hall of Fame

Sure, we're pretty happy that the GPS is a household item these days, but it wouldn't be that was if Roger Easton didn't come up with the idea at the Navy Research Labs. Originally dubbed TIMAITON for Time Navigation, the invention that we now call the GPS, used precise atomic clocks on satellites to help devices on the earth triangulate to their location. The original GPS would fill a room, and now the chips are omnipresent on mobile phones. Not a bad ascendancy into worldwide use.

You can go see his patent for the navigation system at the Patent Office website.

The invention summary is:
"The present invention provides the advantages of the prior earth-satellite navigation systems while avoiding their disadvantages. More specifically, the present invention allows the navigator to passively determine his position by measuring the distance, or range, to one or more satellites. Each satellite transmits multifrequency signals which are derived from extremely precise oscillators. Similar multifrequency signals are derived by the navigator's equipment from an extremely precise oscillator which is phase synchronized with the oscillators on the satellites. By measuring the phase differences between the signals received from the satellites and the locally produced reference signals, the navigator obtains an indication of the distance to the satellites and, therefrom, of his own location. The navigator's presence is not betrayed since no interrogation signal transmission is required. "

Roger Easton is being inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame for this invention. For more on the early days of the GPS, see my Q&A with Bob Rennard, one of the original engineers on the GPS project, and co-founder of TeleNav.

Via CNet

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March 10, 2010

TeleNav - Insight into GPS Use

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Telenav has researched what people are using their service for - where people are going, what they are looking for and how they are battling traffic. The data was collected anonymously from their applications and on-phone navigation system. What's the most searched for Point of Interest? Which city needs to re-route around traffic? What's the most searched for food?

The data is fun to look through and it's not a surprise to see the results - like Pizza being the most popular search for food, WalMart being the most popular Point of Interest searched for, and maybe not a big surprise that Los Angeles is figuring out how to get around traffic most frequently. The data is a fun read.

More on TeleNav and their navigation solutions at Telenav

Full press release after the jump...

ArrowContinue reading: "TeleNav - Insight into GPS Use"

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March 8, 2010

What Does IPX6 and IPX7 Waterproof Rating Mean?

waterfall.jpg

When you are out on the trail, and your hike just turned into a muddy downpour mess of an afternoon, you'll want to make sure that you are carrying a GPS that is rated to handle the weather.

Most handheld GPS units are rated to the IPX7 waterproofing standard; a pretty good standard that keeps the unit sound in the face of whatever a typical hike bike, run or other outing can throw at it. Some handhelds are rated to the IPX6 standard; which is a lower standard that doesn't offer the immersion capability that the IPX7 does...... Immersion capability? Yes, see below:

IPX6 Waterproof Standard

Heavy splashing and rain - This test sends water at all angles through a 12.5mm nozzle at a rate of 100 liters/min at a pressure of 100kN/m2 for 3 minutes from a distance of 3 meters. Must not fail or show water seepage.

IPX-7 Waterproof Standard

Puddle, stream, beer cooler and splash rated - Protected against water immersion - Immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter.


I have had my GPS units out in the driving rain for hours and have dropped them in muddy puddles without issue on the IPX7 standard. I like it and it works for almost anything you can throw at it on a typical day.... except dropping it overboard on a boat..... and luckily that hasn't happened.

Photo via:Tom Curtis / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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February 23, 2010

Casio EX 10HG Camera - 12 MP, GPS Tagging and Navigation

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Casio has given the green light to move the Casio EX HG10 camera to market sometime late this year, which will include a whole bunch of digital camera features and a GPS chip that not only tags your photos, but also serves as the basis for GPS/PND type point to point navigation. It apparently uses Google Maps, and one might assume Google is providing the Points of Information too. The camera itself has a whopping 12.1 MP sensor for your photo shoots, and the ability to browse where you took those detailed pictures on the map.

Cost is expected to be around $400.

Via Slashgear

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February 9, 2010

Two Nav Sportiva Handheld GPS With Touchscreen

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There's a new handheld in town and it looks pretty cool - touchscreen, loaded with capabilities and ready to guide off of any map you want or have. The Holux TwoNav is hitting the market next month with this water resistant (IPX6 std) touchscreen, Sirf'd chipset, 3D electronic compass GPS. The 3-inch transreflective touchscreen offers 240X400 resolution to see the 2D or shaded 3D modes.

Maps - Imported too!

The Sportiva is capable of loading up the company's maps, but also ships with the ability to scan your own maps and with a free software kit convert that map for use in the GPS. The 2GB of internal memory should handle a pretty good load of maps, while the micro SD card slot and additional 32GB could be added to create a map locker that could handle a lot of what you want to go and see. Two Nav seems to have a good part of the world offered in maps for download (at a price) but with the imported map capability it seems that you should be able to have just about any place you want covered if needed.

The unit measures 58 x 105 x 23mm or about 2.3 x 4.1 x 0.9 inches and weighs 128g or about 4.3 ounces with batteries.

OK so it goes on sale in the UK next month for 379 Euros.



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February 8, 2010

NAVTEQ LBS Finalists

NAVTEQ and TeleAtlas are constantly running these searches for LBS applications that rock out world, and for good reason. There's a lot of cool work going on out there. Some not so amazing, and some really amazing.

Here's the current list of finalists:

The winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony on Sunday, 14 February in Barcelona, Spain. The finalists for the NAVTEQ Global LBS Challenge in the EMEA region are:

* IOTO International Inc. (www.ioto.ca), Canada: WHAXI lets you hail a taxi to your GPS location with a push of a button.
* Livecontacts (www.livecontacts.com), The Netherlands: Livecontacts Mobile offers assurance, safety and security anywhere in the world through a unique set of features, including real-time tracking of mobile phones and GPS trackers.
* M2Mobi (www.m2mobi.com), The Netherlands: Nulaz is a social information source that allows you to see where people, places and events are located around you.
* Mobile Agreements GmbH (www.mogree.com), Austria: With Mogree™, you can interact with people around you who share your interests--talk to existing friends and meet new people.

  • Mobilizy GmbH (www.mobilizy.com), Germany: Wikitude Drive is a turn-by-turn navigation system based on NAVTEQ® maps that utilizes an augmented reality camera mode and text-to-speech instructions.
  • Mobitee (www.mobitee.com), France: Mobitee is a GPS golf assistant that allows you to find the nearest golf course, follow route guidance via NAVTEQ maps, know the distance to each green and calculate your score.
  • Telmap™ (www.telmap.com), Israel: Telmap5 is the world's first personalized location companion that allows operators to differentiate their mobile offerings with highly targeted and local content in the framework of search, mapping and navigation.
  • United Maps (http://unitedmaps.net), Germany: Walk & Ride packs comprehensive map detail and extensive information into an offline application that works any place, any time, with no hassle.
  • VIOM GmbH (www.viom.de), Germany: VIOS Mobile Leader offers workforce management to go--keep in touch with your business, everywhere.
  • XiLabs (www.xilabs.fr), France: Alien Attack is an outdoor GPS game in which you must destroy the alien's eggs before the monster catches you--run!
  • Yoose GmbH (www.yoose.com), Germany: Yoose's coupon widget provides easy access to coupons and discounts close to where you are, directly from your mobile phone's home screen.
  • ZorroGPS® (www.zorrogps.com), China: ZorroGPS LIVE comes with 16 live navigation services on SIM PNDs and mobile phones, including Europe or North America NAVTEQ maps, all at a low price.

    If you only have time to check out two, I like the nulaz/m2Mobi concept and the Yoose idea. WHile both have been talked about, I like the Yoose idea the best. There has to be a better way of managing all of those shopper cards, discounts and coupons that come my way. How about if Grocery store #1 knew that I liked Grocery store #2 also - let the bidding war commence and see what coupons they might throw my way this coming week. Sick of coupons? How about the App knows that I subscribe to the Sunday Newspaper and all of those coupons that come already get loaded automatically in my "account"?

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  • February 5, 2010

    Glu GPS Game on the iPhone: 1,000: Find Em All

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    Came across this; looks like fun. Glu Games has released a new game that is made for the iPod Touch and the iPhone where it uses the GPS to bring you on an adventure game. The game allows you to hunt down collectible things that must somehow appear on the map around your location. Collect them all and win..... a pat on the back, I guess.

    So, there is of course a regular walkabout type game play for the folk on an iPod touch, but you have to admit it has got to be a lot more fun grabbing these items as you walk around with the iPhone looking for a special item like the Bogey; part of the Gross collection.


    Available at iTunes - 1000: Find em all (itunes link)

    More at the Glu Website

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