Boeing Delays New GPS Satellites

Boeing has delayed the launch of the new generation GPS satellites (GPS IIF) originally scheduled to fly this year, now looking like they won’t be up until May 2008. Boeing has reportedly had cost overruns and delays on the new more sophisticated satellites that not only provide civilian signals but more importantly harder to jam military signals too. Recall preceding the Gulf war, Iraq claimed that they could jam GPS guided missiles with GPS signal emitters? Do you also remember how easy it was to blast away something that was radiating like a banshee and then go in with the GPS guided missiles? Anyway, apparently Boeing is “totally committed to meeting” the May 2008 schedule.

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

Casio GPS Watch - GPR-100

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Casio has announced (for Japan) their new GPR-100 GPS based watch/ training aid/cool toy. The unit is not the first GPS watch, but it is a pretty small one (they claim to be the world's smallest GPS watch). They downsized the battery too – runs the GPS only a few hours, so you’d better still rely on your Garmin Forerunner 305 for the marathon.

GPR-100 will be available at the end of September in Japan for 54,000 Yen (~$460).

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

August 22, 2006

New GPS: Garmin Nuvi 660 Leaked

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UPDATE: Garmin Nuvi 660 and 610 Officially Announced! also See our Review of the Garmin Nuvi 660


News of the forthcoming Garmin Nuvi 660 has leaked from the FCC website, and it appears that Garmin is ready to extend their line up of popular Nuvi models right before the holidays. The Garmin Nuvi 350 has really taken off for Garmin lately, and their recent introduction of the Garmin Nuvi 360 with Bluetooth handsfree is reportedly doing well. One can't blame them for extending the line with this Nuvi 660, but you have to wonder what the big news will be. The single biggest thing that I can see is an FM transmitter to help get all that audio from MP3's and audiobooks across to the stereo in your car, well that and the fact that it's coming up spec'd out as a wide screen. The other thing is the addition of the traffic receiver (GTM20 or 21), which like the one on the C550 (see our review) is integrated into the 12 volt adapter. Well according to an internet retailer, and some snooping on one of our reader's parts (Thanks Ken), we have some details on the spes of the Nuvi 660 after the jump. Its price is around $1,000 and will be available in Mid-September.

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

August 18, 2006

Traffic.com Ups Ante with Expanded Coverage

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So who knew that the traffic data provider business was so competitive? Traffic.com has announced new expanded coverage of secondary roads using what they call “Probe Data”, which means anonymous signals from GPS navigation system enabled vehicles (fleet vehicles), toll tags, and cellular signals to help them get a better picture of traffic conditions. I don’t know which system is better but “Probe Data” doesn’t sound as cool as Inrix’s “Dust Network” which works on a similar principle of collecting data from fleets of GPS equipped trucks. Traffic.com claims to be the biggest and the best, Inrix, the up and comer. Either way, consumers are the winners. Battle it out, improve traffic reporting and get me to my destination faster, thank you very much. Information from Traffic.com’s press release is below.

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

MotionBase Service Upgrades

MotionBased has hit a milestone – 500,000 activities uploaded. Not bad. They also announced that they have released a few new features in their program/service that will help you train your best.

  • Weather - now for most of the world.
  • Heat Index - a critical factor when training in the hot humid summers.
  • Cadence – seems to me that they would have worked on this one a while ago with the launch of the Gamrin Edge 305 bike trainer, but hey I’ll take it. You can view average cadence by lap.

    There are also several bug fixes. If you want to learn more about how to use your GPS to train better with MotionBased (which is owned by Garmin), read our review of their service from last summer, or go to the MotionBased website.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • August 17, 2006

    TomTom ONE Announced for US

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    TomTom announced the launch of its new TomTom ONE GPS Navigation System in North America. The unit was announced for Europe late last year. TomTom ONE combines a lightweight, slim design with TomTom’s award winning software at just $499(list price). Combining ease of use, portability, TomTom’s patented touch screen technology and award winning software, the new TomTom ONE fits in any shirt pocket and can easily be taken from car to car. The new ONE does not compromise screen size or quality and features a sleek lightweight design (only 5.6 ounces) and ultra compact measurements (3.8 inches x 3.2 inches x 1.0 inch).


    Update: See a review of the TomTom ONE for North America.

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

    August 16, 2006

    Free Google Wi-Fi - Hotbed for Location Based Services?

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    Google has their hometown blanketed with Wi-Fi for anyone to use for free, including rival Microsoft, whose cross-town facility employs around 1,000 people. As things develop in Mountain View, look for some interesting location based services to develop. So, while this might not be GPS based, the jump from Wi-Fi equipped laptop/PDA to GPS equipped mobile phone won’t be far behind if the location based service is compelling enough. We’ll keep our eyes open for developments.

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

    New Study Reveals More about Map and GPS Habits

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    TeleAtlas has released results of a study conducted for them and they have confirmed a few theories about men asking directions, older people as the primary users of paper maps, and younger people using digital mapping resources (GPS navigation systems or mapping services) more exclusively.

    What I found interesting was that a majority of women surveyed said that they would feel safer navigating to a new place in a vehicle equipped with a GPS navigation system. While that’s pretty intuitive, to me that means that women may see GPS navigation systems as must-have’s going forward, like airbags and other safety equipment instead of some techie gadget that early adopters see them as. Key Findings and TeleAtlas’ discussion below.

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

    New Fleet Tracking Option - RMT

    A new GPS tracking system from Rocky Mountain Tracking (RMT) is coming out and it allows vehicle owners to access information about the position and status of their vehicles in real time. Maybe not something you need on the old Ford, but maybe something you want on your fleet of delivery trucks. These things are going to be in every kid's car in a decade, either that or in every teenager's mobile phone.

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

    August 15, 2006

    Speed Controlled by GPS - New UK Project

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    New technology designed to make drivers more aware of their speed has been unveiled by a government-funded body in the UK. Yes, Big Brother is controlling you. The Intelligent Speed Adaptation (ISA) device uses the Global Positioning System (GPS) to work out the speed limits on a particular road, and makes warning beeps when the driver exceeds the maximum speed for the location. Hummm, doesn't speeding even a little bit and trying not to get caught rank up there with freedom of speech?

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

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