February 4, 2006

Starchase - GPS Enabled Dart for Police

You've seen them on TV - those high speed police chases. Well a new company has a solution to the dangerous high speed chases; a gps enabled dart that can latch onto a car and transmit its position back to the police dispatcher. What's Star Chase? It is an air-propelled miniature dart equipped with a global positioning device. Once fired from a patrol car, it sticks to a fleeing motorist's vehicle and emits a radio signal to police. This sounds a lot cooler than a dog tracking collar.

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

February 3, 2006

Volkswagon and Google announce Partnership on Navigation Systems

vwgoogle.jpgVolkswagen AG of Germany's American unit on Friday said it is working on a prototype vehicle which features Google Inc.'s satellite mapping software to give drivers a bird's eye view of the road ahead. (See our original post on this)

The two companies are working with the graphics chipmaker Nvidia Corp. to build an in-car navigation map system and a three-dimensional display so passengers can recognise where they are in relation to the surrounding topography.

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

Garmin Forerunner 205 and Forerunner 305 Available at Amazon

garminforerunner305clse.jpgOne of the bigger launches this year will be the launch of the Garmin 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.

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 pre-order from Amazon, with FREE SHIPPING, and will be available on February 13th. The Forerunner 305 is already one of the top GPS sellers at Amazon despite the fact it’s only available for pre-order.

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

February 2, 2006

Sony PSP gets Maps in Japan - GPS Next?

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Yes, it's a stretch, but I have a PSP, and they are moving closer to a GPS in the thing, so I thought I would pass this along. Engadget is reporting that the PSP now has UMD based maps (UMD is the mini optical disk in the PSP) for Japan. " The software is similar to most PC-based mapping programs, and allows users to store annotations on Memory Sticks and share info via WiFi. No word on whether Sony plans US or European versions."

With WiFi installed, and a Memory Stick slot there has to be an opportunity to slap GPS functionality in this thing. Why, I have no idea, but its a solution looking for a problem.

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

XM Satellite Traffic Expands to Nine New Cities

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XM Satellite Radio,announced that XM NavTraffic, the first nationwide satellite traffic information service for GPS navigation systems, will add nine U.S. metro markets in the first quarter of 2006. This addition brings the total number of markets covered by XM NavTraffic to 31. XM NavTraffic currently delivers real-time traffic information for drivers in 22 markets from New York to Los Angeles. The award-winning technology was also recently selected as a 2005 "Best Consumer Vehicle Application" by the leading telematics industry organization Telematics Update.

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

Garmin Submitted bid for Lowrance

lowrancelogo.jpgSo Garmin is reportedly submitting a bid for rival Lowrance. The other day we reported that Simrad Yachting seeking to merge with Lowrance to form a new subsidiary called Navico (see story). Now it appears that Garmin has submitted an offer for Lowrance. In news coming out after the news on Simrad, it appears that garmin was interested in and may still be interested in acquiring Lowrance. The overlap and resulting anti-trust issues may have pushed Lowrance to accept the Simrad bid, but the combination of Garmin and Lowrance would make a formidable GPS power in the combined companies in the consumer, aviation and marine area.

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Garmin recently denies making a counter bid for Lowrance. No news though if the dust has settled yet.... stay tuned.
ReadMore on Garmin denying a counterbid.

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

WayPoint Pocket Real Estate Edition

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Mobile Crossing and Pocket Real Estate are teaming up to provide a GPS navigation system with functionality designed for Real Estate Agents. Thanks to technology from Pocket Real Estate, Mobile Crossings new WayPoint Pocket Real Estate Edition combines turn-by-turn spoken directions with complete database access to the agents multiple listing service out-of-the-box.


In addition to providing driving directions to the agent, the WayPoint device doubles as a fully featured Windows Mobile PDA organizer.

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

January 31, 2006

Lowrance to Merge and become Navico

lowrancelogo.jpg Lowrance is merging with Simrad Yachting company and will be named Navico, a new wholly owned subsidiary of Simrad formed by the merger. Lowrance is one of the world's largest providers of marine electronics to leisure boats and has a particularly strong presence in the fish finders and GPS navigation systems segments of the market. In addition to marine electronic products, Lowrance has produced for over 10 years hand-held GPS mapping products for campers and hikers, as well GPS navigation systems for the automotive and aviation markets.

So, Simrad Yachting has its business in high end yachting electronics. Clearly Lowrance's extensive business in marine electronics is of primary interest here, but one has to question where things stand for the developing consumer segment, especially their automotive products. The founder and current CEO, Darrell Lowrance will be the head of the new combined company, which assumes that they still value the entire Lowrance line and have plans for it.

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

TeleAtlas to offer 3D Maps of Major Cities

teleatlas3d-map.jpgMap supplier TeleAtlas plans on shipping 3D map data of large European and American cities by the end of 2006 - this is a pretty interesting innovation and it follows some of the Google Earth type applications that allow you to see a very real life view of a city as you are moving through it. So, by the end of this year, TeleAtlas is planning on shipping these new maps to major GPS companies like TomTom and Cobra. The question is, who is planning on bringing this innovation to the market first. I would assume that you are starting to talk about even bigger hard drives to handle the information. The other question is will the thing be useful and easy to understand whil you are driving the confusing streets of an unknown city.

The folks over at My TomTom GO are reporting this information.

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

Verizon Wireless Launches VZ Navigator Service

vznnaviservice.jpgVerizon Wireless, the nation’s premier provider of wireless products and services, announced today the availability of VZ NavigatorTM – a new tool for customers that gives them access to a wide array of Location Based Services (LBS) options, including mapping, audible turn-by-turn navigation and the ability to find over 14 million points of interest. We reported on this in December, now Verizon is getting around to launching the service.

Initially available on the new Motorola V325, VZ Navigator is perfect for road warriors who are constantly on-the-go, allowing them to see a map of their current location or an address in the U.S., locate places such as restaurants, gas stations, banks and other points-of-interest relative to their location, plus hear turn-by-turn navigation with audible voice directions to an address in the U.S. VZ Navigator will help Verizon Wireless customers get to where they are going, easily and efficiently.

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

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