Magellan RoadMate 700 - 50% off

Thought that I would mention that the Magellan Roadmate 700 is now 50% off list price over at Amazon - it's moving fast and selling well in this sales event. Sale ends March 27th.

Magellan Roadmate 700 - Save 50%! FREE SHIPPING!

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March 20, 2006

New GPS: Garmin eTrex Venture Cx

garmin etrex venture cx

Garmin International Inc., today introduced the Garmin eTrex Venture Cx , an entry-level addition to Garmin's eTrex Personal Navigator product line. The eTrex Venture Cx is the least expensive eTrex handheld unit that combines expandable memory, color TFT display, USB interface, and advanced GPS auto-routing capabilities in a waterproof design. This expands on the "Cx" line that already includes other eTrex products like the Legend Cx and the Vista Cx. The major upgrade here is the color screen and the expandability of the micro-SD slot, which will allow you to carry a good amount of map data around with you.

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Garmin Forerunner 205 and Forerunner 305 NOW Shipping at Amazon


One of the bigger launches this year will be the launch of theGarmin Forerunner 205 and Garmin Forerunner 305, as they bring a couple of great upgrades to the fitness GPS market. With the reconfiguration of the unit to make it more watch-like, and the inclusion of the SiRF star III highly sensitive GPS receiver chipset, the unit looks like it will be a winner (See our explanation on the SiRF star III chipset, and why it's important). The upgrade to the Forerunner 305 also includes a better fitting heart rate monitor which will be another welcome improvement in the product line. The inclusion of the heart rate monitor is the main difference between the Forerunner 205 vs. Forerunner 305. We are using the Forerunner 205 now and have it in-house for a review - ReadMore.

The older generation Forerunner 201 and 301 have been perennial favorites in the market. I have a Forerunner 201 and I like it. I got it because I liked the GPS aspects of it, but both my wife and I like it for the instantaneous read on our performance while exercising.

Both the Garmin Forerunner 205 and the Garmin Forerunner 305 are available for NOW from Amazon, with FREE SHIPPING. Amazon was going to originally have it available in the middle of February, but pushed the shipment date off until March 1st. The Forerunner 305 is already one of the top GPS sellers at Amazon despite the fact it’s only available for pre-ordering for a few weeks. Amazon has had a couple of false starts on delivering the Forerunner 305, and has pushed "availability" dates off a few times. Let's hope this one sticks.

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March 18, 2006

Another HUGE sale on GPS Units at Amazon

There's a big sale going on over at Amazon with some decent cuts in price on a lot of GPS units. See some of the units that are on sale below (Of course Amazon offers Free Shipping on most of these GPS units): Sale ends March 27th.

Mobile/Automotive GPS Receivers

Magellan Roadmate 700 - Save 50%!
Magellan RoadMate 760
Magellan RoadMate 300
Garmin StreetPilot C2610
Garmin StreetPilot C320
Garmin StreetPilot C330
Garmin StreetPilot C340
Garmin StreetPilot i3
Garmin Streetpilot i5
Lowrance iWay 500c

eTrex Legend C
eTrex Legend
Garmin Forerunner 201
Garmin Forerunner 301
Garmin GPSMAP 60CS
Garmin GPSMAP 76CS
Magellan eXplorist 100
Magellan eXplorist 200
Magellan eXplorist 300

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March 16, 2006

Seeing Eye GPS Units for the Blind

Interesting article today in the Boston Globe that talks about how specially designed GPS units can be used to help the blind explore the world without having to rely on others to guide them. The article covers the life changing ability of a GPS equipped laptop computer for the blind can liberate someone from the confines of a well known neighborhood. This particular person is now able to navigate in unfamiliar neighborhoods around Boston or unfamiliar cities across the country.

The software is specially designed to provide safe routes for walking while updating the user to their location and the points of interest around them. The unit also provides a breadcrumb trail feature that allows the user to find his or her way back to their starting point. A solid feature for a unit like this, but while a reasonable regular GPS handheld can be had for a couple of hundred dollars, this whole set-up can cost upwards to a couple of thousand dollars.

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March 15, 2006

Quick Rundown of GPS Announcements for CeBIT

So, over the last week there have been a lot of announcements associated with the Germany electronics show - CeBIT.

New TomTom GO 510 GO 910
TomTom announced a new line of receivers the TomTom GO 510, the GO 710 and the GO 910. These all have beautiful widescreens, hands-free Bluetooth calling kits and while the GO 510 has maps loaded on an SD card, the GO 910 offers maps on a 20 GB hard drive and the ability to play MP3's. The new line comes with TomTom HOME software that allows quick and easy data storage, back-ups and more on your computer. On top of this TomTom announced software features and services that extend the capability of the TomTom GO line to allow for fleet management, and when used with a phone, allow you to keep tabs on your buddies. (ReadMore)

Garmin New C series - Garmin C550
Not to be outdone, Garmin announced a whole basket of new models and initiatives. The big announcements centered on their mid-tier line up that will expand to include the Garmin C510, and Garmin StreetPilot C550 . While the C510 will have an optional traffic alert antenna, the Garmin C550 will have an integral FM TDC traffic alert antenna as well as MP3 playing capability. These should be available by second quarter of 2006. (ReadMore)

New Garmin Nuvi 310 and Nuvi 360 plus Garmin Online
Garmin also announced upgrades to the Garmin Nuvi – the Nuvi 310 and the Nuvi 360. They have added Bluetooth calling capabilities to the units. (ReadMore) Garmin also announced the Garmin Mobile 20 – a smart phone mount that has a GPS and GPS capabilities built right into it to GPS enable your Treo or select Nokia phones. With this, these phones will be able to use Garmin Online an online service that will feed traffic updates as well as weather information, and more. Sounds a lot like TomTom Plus. (ReadMore)

BenQ GPS Phones
BenQ Mobile, the company formed in October last year when BenQ Corporation bought Siemens Mobile Devices, got CeBIT 2006 under way with a football-themed launch of six mobile phones, including a Windows Mobile 5-based smartphone with Wi-Fi and a GPS receiver built in. (ReadMore)

New Trimble GPS Chipsets - Copernicus
Trimble announced a new GPS chipset that is small and functions at low power consumption levels. The Ultra-Thin Copernicus GPS Module enables system integrators to easily add GPS capability to a mobile device with minimal impact on its size or battery life at a very economical price. (ReadMore)

Mio announced several GPS units, from stand alone GPS units to mobile phones with GPS capabilities, including the Digiwalker A710. (ReadMore)

One possible future was shown to us - the GPS integrated jacket. So while this might not find its way into every jacket you wear, maybe you'll see it show up in survival suits and emergency responder suits. (ReadMore)

Finally, Microsoft announced the Origami mini tablet computer platform, which will include GPS modules. This starts to get close to where Garmin is going with the Nuvi, and gets powerful computing in a mobile device that will go anywhere with you. So, no, the tablet will not fit in your pocket like a Nuvi, but you can see how the Origami platform will be portable and take you places.

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Wearable GPS Jacket - the Know Where Jacket

Hitting the halls in CeBIT, the “Know Where Jacket” stormed into the halls to show off the possibilities of GPS location information. The jacket is loaded with all kinds of electronics, but the GPS receiver in the shoulder has the ability to know the location of the wearer, presumably over the integrated mobile phone. The Jacket also has GPS over IP, which allows the unit to know position inside buildings.

So, while they are saying that the jacket has unlimited applications. I would say that a simple mobile phone with GPS capability has more going for it than one jacket that you’ll wear half the time at best. This does not seem like the everyday user's GPS. In emergency situations, I could see the use where the wearer needs to be found when he or she is lost. Anyway, check it out: ReadMore

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Waypoint adds Fleet Management with FleetBoss

Using a GPS navigation system for optimized routing can shave time off every stop, leading to huge savings. Thats one of the reasons FleetBoss Global Positioning Solutions, Inc., based in Fern Park, FL., is now offering the fleet industry Mobile Crossings WayPoint GPS for both in-vehicle and hand-held navigation. The WayPoint is a complete navigation system that features optimized routing, vehicle logging, real-time traffic and weather reports, turn-by-turn spoken directions, complete area and national maps, and the ability to hold entire regions of the United States on-board without any additional memory cards.

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Sony PSP to Get GPS


Yes, the Sony PSP will be getting a GPS (PSP-290) for itself coming soon. Sony Computer Entertainment announced that the little old PSP will get a drop in price (down to $199), as well as a few accessories. The one that we’re interested in (vaguely) is the GPS receiver. It should be available sometime this Fall. What the heck to do with it? Who knows, really, but there will be some games available for use with the PSP and the GPS. Hopefully it fares better than the Gizmondo handheld game that had GPS and isn’t doing so well; they are in receivership right now. The PSP will also be coming along with a USB camera and with a firmware upgrade, you should be able to participate in video and voice chats.


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Updated: Garmin vs. TomTom

It's obvious that Garmin and TomTom are tough competitors fighting for an increasing share of the marketplace in a very hot category. Their sales are up, and so are their profits. The last quarter of 2005 saw big increases in sales with the holiday shopping, and both companies registered nice growth. We also saw recently that Garmin is suing TomTom for patent infringement. See our article

Well, we thought that the folks over at the Motley Fool had a good article covering the GPS market status, but apparently they missed on the patent dispute.

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