June 21, 2008

Knight Rider GPS from Mio

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In the total fun camp, comes the Knight Rider GPS from Mio that will be hitting stores later this year. Too bad the Trans Am is a long forgotten model at GM Dealerships, and with $4 gas who could afford to drive one anyway.

So, the voice of KITT, William Daniels will be lending his voice to this GPS, and with those cool lights on either side, it will just be like you were there. Crank the ZZ Top, and you'll never know the difference.

Look for the Knight Rider for around $270

Via Engadget

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

June 19, 2008

Mio Store - Mio Power Plugs and Mio Map Upgrades


Mio has rolled out a new Mio Online Store where you can pick up a few needed accessories like Map Updates, extra power plugs and more. I have had a lot of readers write in about finding these types of things, as well as extra mounts, etc for the other car, and now you have a resource on the web to get them.

"We're constantly working to improve the Mio experience for our customers and to offer additional tools that make their Mio devices more functional and fresh," said Kiyoshi Hamai, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Mio Technology USA.

Full Press Release Follows.......


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

June 17, 2008

Microsoft Enters the GPS Software Space - NavReady

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After years of GPS Makers using Windows CE as a platform to build sometimes mediocre user interfaces at best, Microsoft decided to make a GPS platform that works well with advanced features to integrate into the connected lifestyle; enter Microsoft NavReady.

The software platform will be available later this year and will allow GPS makers to have their own hardware and a well made software platform together that will incorporate some potentially interesting features like MSN Live search, Bluetooth connections, MSN Direct integration for the use of traffic and gas prices, and SideShow. SideShow is a way for the GPS to act as a second screen for a handheld Windows device that will allow you to display information as well as exchange it.

So What?
First, you can insert the standard Microsoft taking over the world joke here, then another Apple Guy vs. PC Guy Joke before we continue.... But seriously, no doubt this will change how the market looks in a year or so, with new units coming to the market faster, and from more makers by removing a big barrier to entry and if Microsoft does their job well, making a whole bunch of manufacturers who previously couldn't program a user interface have access to a decent market.

Does this make Garmin and TomTom want to use NavReady? Probably not, but what if everyone else does? Mio is already signed on, making for the third operating system in a year (iGo, then recently their NavMan based OS on the Mio Moov Series, and now MS NavReady). What if Magellan dumps its aging OS? Will they merely fade into the pack of NavReady powered GPS units or become more competitive with technologies coming to the market at a faster pace?

I think the net effect if this NavReady OS is reasonable is that the GPS market becomes a lot more competitive. This will allow almost any hardware maker to launch a GPS at rock bottom prices, while the titans battle to stay one step ahead of the rolling pack. Should get interesting.

Full Press Release Below


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

May 28, 2008

Mio - 7Mil Units in 2008; Connected GPS in 2009

Mio recently opened up a new headquarters in Belgium, and had a few things to say about its business; where is it and where it is going. According to GPSNews, and Canalays, Mio has a 9.5% share of the global navigation market (GPS & PDA), which is a combination of the Mio and Navman brands. They recently moved to more of a Navman interface, away from the iGo interface that they had been using. I just reviewed the Mio Moov 300/310 that has that new interface, and for the most part they did a good job, but could use some more work in some areas.

Mio will be adding in the NavPix capability from the Navman line into the Moov line later this year, as they will be adding cameras to their GPS line.

Finally, they are now saying that their work on a connected GPS should come to market in Q2 2009, not 2008 like they originally indicated when they announced the work.

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

April 3, 2008

Mio - Plans in Place for Connected GPS


Mio has already announced that they are working with Qualcomm to figure out the wireless connectivity on a connected GPS, and have now announced that they are working with ATX, a telematics provider to get content streamed to the Mio device. ATX provides services to some of the top car brands in the world including Mercedes, Rolls Royce, and BMW, so getting content to people on the road should play to their strengths.

Mio is talking up gas prices, traffic, and local content for examples of what will be provided. To me, there are a couple of things that are going to make a connected device worth it:
1) Better traffic capabilities. With better connectivity, you can pump down more data, and hopefully you are smart in your choice for what and how to provide that data. Historical Average Speeds, Anonymous Traffic Data Reporting, Flow Data are all things that Dash is setting up as the standard as the first one to market.
2) Killer local content. With great searches comes great opportunities, and a well executed search capability will lead to satisfied customers. I would imagine that there were a lot of bad ideas along the way that were discarded by Dash before they got a system that worked well.

Mio has now re-stated that they expect a connected device in the market by the end of the year. Magellan has already pre-announced their connected device for launch this year. While TomTom has a connected device, in the TomTom HD, I don't believe is has all of the connectivity features of a Dash, but I expect a US debut later this year with a more full featured device. Finally there is no news out of the Garmin shop, but one has to think that the Nuvifone is going to display this capability and essentially act as their proxy for the first "connected GPS".

Press Release follows.....

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

March 25, 2008

Mio Announced Moov 200, 210, 300, 310 for US

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Fresh off the announcement at CeBit of new Mio Moov models for Europe, Mio has announced the lineup officially for the US. The line will feature a newly designed set of hardware that takes the sleek design of the past to a more refined level. The hardware will also have an up to date chipset in it for fast satellite lock times, virtually eliminating lag times when you use the unit on a regular basis. The SiRF star III with InstantFix II capabilities actually predicts into the near future where satellites will be so it knows where to look, essentially to find them when you turn it on the next day.

The Mio Moov 200 and 210 are standard screen, 3.5-inch models, while the 300 and 310 are widescreen 4.3-inch models. The 210 and 310 add TMC traffic built in and come with a 1 year subscription to the service. Not bad for the prices. The list prices for the Mio Moov 200, 210, 300 and 310 are $179.95, $199.95, $229.95 and $249.95 respectively; expect some discounting and sales off of those points. I think these prices are set to pit them against the Navigon deals of late where they must be taking market share from Mio. While $179 may not blow your doors off, thats list price, and for only $249, you get a widescreen with TMC traffic and a 1-year subscription; that's a pretty good price. then if you look at the pricing structure, they are charging $20 more for TMC with a 1-year subscription; who wouldn't want this if they deal with traffic on a regular basis?

Finally the Mio Moov series represents a move away from the iGo software interface that they relied on up until now. Some thing the departure is a good thing, some do not. I will reserve my judgement for when I get my hands on one and try it out myself.

Press Release follows.......


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

March 9, 2008

Mio and Interface Maker Nav n Go Part Ways

Mio and the maker of their software are parting ways. Not a big surprise given that back in January, Mio was saying that the Navman merger would bring software capabilities to the party.

"Mio Technology brings core competencies in hardware to the table, while Navman brings expertise in software and content, creating a new brand that is better able to create unique, innovative products and services." said Samuel Wang, president, Mio Technology Corporation.

Nav n Go has on their website an announcement that Nav n Go is stopping deliveries of software to Mio after what they say were "continuous breaches of contract."


Personally, I liked the Nav n Go software as a GPS interface, and thought it was a better product than most other GPS makers that were new to the scene, but it was a step down from the top performers in the category. It's up to Mio to launch their units based on an easier to use totally new software platform in time for the summer driving season.

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

March 6, 2008

Mio Moov - 200, 330, 370

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Mio announced a new line of GPS navigators that should be making their way to our side of the ocean sometime before summer. The big change is that Mio is moving away from the iGo software that help propel them into their current market share. The Navman software is going to reprise the whole navigate with picture thing; NavPix.

Mio is using the new SiRF InstantFix II chipset that calculates the positions of the satellites into the future so that when you turn the unit on, the time to first fix is greatly reduced.

Coming equipped with a standard 3.5-inch standard screen, the Mio Moov 200 regional is listed for about $225, and a Mio Moov 200 Europe for about $275.

The Mio Moov 330 is a regional version that has limited maps for about $275, the Mio Moov 330, for about $350, both with 4.3 inch displays. The top of the line Mio Moov 370 is also a widescreen with Bluetooth handsfree and TMC Traffic for about $425.

We're looking forward to taking a spin with the new Mio line in the coming months when they get over here.

Via

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

January 30, 2008

Mio to do Connected GPS with Qualcomm

Mio and Qualcomm announced that they are teaming up to work on a new Mio connected GPS capability. Mio has been talking about connected GPS and now has the partnership to be able to do it in fairly short order I would imagine. The connectivity will allow for higher bandwidth traffic updates and better search abilities. The interface challenge becomes more substantial when you add these items because you need to make this a "60 MPH" interface, and not a web browser that can be read at your leisure.

So, just a few months ago, it looked like Dash Navigation, the pioneers in cellular connected GPS, looked line the lone horse, now Magellan, TomTom and Mio have weighed into the fight. I would imagine that Garmin will have something either at CeBit this March or late this summer for a Holiday launch.

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

January 29, 2008

Mio Digiwalker C720t Full Review

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The Mio C720T is Mio’s is the new top of the line Mio that combines the great features of the Mio C520 with a new TMC traffic cradle to offer what is finally becoming an important and more popular feature for those weary commuters who deal with traffic congestion on a daily basis. The widescreen unit features not only traffic alert and re-routing capabilities but Mio’s split screen capability with a tabbed interface that puts a lot of information at your fingertips while comfortably navigating along with the map displayed. The Mio C720T also includes a 2 Mega Pixel camera that allows you to grab pictures of things along the way. Hey if your cell phone has a camera, why can’t your GPS?

With Text-to-speech and Bluetooth handsfree capability the Mio C720T sits firmly in the premium segment, but like all Mios, the price is more comfortable than other units on the shelf.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

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