May 14, 2008
Nokia is a powerhouse of a mobile phone maker, and with the move to acquire map maker NAVTEQ, they set in motion the wheels to make sure that they are a key player in location based services, and navigation. According to a recent interview, Michael Halbherr, the head of Nokia's location based activities, said that they are set to hit their goal of having half of their handsets GPS enabled by 2010-2012.
I have no idea if that means the death of the GPS stand alone device or not, but I am leaning more and more towards not these days. When GPS units cost $400 for an entry model, I could see the attraction of a small screen, phone based navigator that was essentially free (already had the phone and an extra $10 a month is pretty cheap).
With the drop in GPS prices, entry level units are going to be under $100 and that's not even a splurge item for many folks. Unless the connectedness of the mobile phone can offer a significantly better user experience, I think that the spread of mobile phone GPS will only spur demand for a better and not too expensive stand alone GPS device.
May 2, 2008
Engadget had this story yesterday on Garmin testing Nuvifone ideas and potentially price points. Typically this type of concept testing is done far in advance by the maker of the product to test out features and designs, and yes price points. At this stage in the game, this concept is probably checking out the appeal of the carrier, the wireless features and the price point of the phone.
The $500 price tag is not so outrageous now, but Apple, who is rumored to be putting real GPS capability into the next generation of the iPhone, is also working with AT&T. Now a recent BusinessWeek article speculated about AT&T dropping the price on the iPhone as a way to spur on demand in this sluggish economy. That $500 price point for the Nuvifone all of a sudden would be pretty expensive in comparison.
Thanks Jim for sending this in.
April 3, 2008
AT&T has announced that they are rolling out AT&T Navigator, a service that uses speech recognition to drive the navigation software offering. Working with TelNav, AT&T is offering turn by turn voice prompted navigation with speech recognition for address and point of interest entry. The AT&T navigator service also offers some advanced features like traffic flow and incident data as well as gas pricing. Finally, the service offers an integration with the internet that has you entering addresses online and sending them to your phone for advanced planning.
Standard type pricing - $9.99 per month or $2.99 per day.
Continue reading: "AT&T Navigator - Speech Recognition Phone Navigation"
March 31, 2008
Garmin also announced a bunch of mobile news as they build out their mobile phone navigation capabilities. They are putting new features into their Blackberry presence with server hosted navigation that includes realtime traffic and gas prices, on top of the turn by turn navigation that has the familiar Garmin interface. Their dead simple interface asks "Where to?" or offers you to "View Map" - the two basic needs when you turn to a navigation device. The Deal on the BlackBerry devices is for Centennial based units who will make available via download a free, seven-day trial subscription of Garmin Mobile for BlackBerry on new and existing Centennial BlackBerry 8310 Smartphones.
Also available is the Garmin Mobile interface and navigation for Samsung phones where an SD card carries the software- pop it in and start navigating.
More at Garmin Mobile
Thanks Allory for sending this in.
March 11, 2008
There have been some rumors floating around about an iPhone GPS module and sure enough there is something coming from Nav n Go (the folks who have made the iGo software for the Mio up until now), using an adapter from Gomite called the LocoGPS. The LocoGPS adapter will plug into the bottom of the iPhone or iPod Touch to serve up the GPS software interface over WiFi and the GPS signals.
Sound like a lot? Yea, I thought so too. It seems that they are not yet OK'd by Apple, so they have to go to these lengths to transmit the GPS software over WiFi waves and hope that things get better in the future. You may still have to hack the phone to get things working - ouch!
Pricing is undecided and may be available this Spring.
March 7, 2008
Stumbled across this site last weekend and thought I would pass along.... A site that allows you to download an application to your GPS and Java enabled Mobile Phone, capture your tracks and then display them online. Very cool. There is also the opportunity to track in realtime, making it a cool way to experience a race or outing.
The site also allows you to check out some of the past tracks that people have uploaded and made public. The interface is a little slow as it processes the data, but it is cool to see the stats on tracks that were published. The interface is easy to understand and is an impressive 3-D Topo type map that has the track information superimposed on it. See Below.
More at MapMyTracks
February 28, 2008
A PBX business phone company, Nuvio, is suing Garmin over the Nuvifone name trying to prevent them from using the name to launch the navigational mobile phone later this year under the Nuvifone name. On top of that, they are also seeking damages and trying to prevent Garmin from selling Nuvi GPS units!!!! I guess while you've got the lawyers at the table, you might as well go for the gusto with that one.
February 7, 2008
The Hype machine has started, and I'll admit I will give it a few turns of the crank before it's done. I mean hey, it's not often that the little old GPS gets out and walks around the technology block to go and grab the cool trophy for a new phone design.
It looks like Garmin is partnering with Google for internet search; good move. Makes me wonder if they are starting to line themselves up for Google search on a connected GPS? If you want to see, checkout Garmin's online images with screenshots of what the Nuvifone might look like.
Anyway, here's Garmin's take on their evolution.... Nuvi to Nuvifone. The second one is about some of the Nuvifone capabilities. Pretty good; worth a look:
January 22, 2008
TeleNav, the mobile handset navigation software company, is expanding in the UK as they have announced a partnership with T-Mobile there. The software is available for download to your mobile handset allowing you to create routes and get turn by turn navigation. Not only can you create routes on the handheld, but you can also create routes online and then send those routes to your handheld.
"There is no reason that anyone needs to invest in an expensive, in-car navigation system or a separate navigation device anymore," said Ian Tredgett, business director for TeleNav's European operations. "TeleNav GPS Navigator offers T-Mobile customers the same peace of mind and even more features. We developed our solution to exceed customer expectations, and we look forward to delighting T-Mobile customers with our commitment to service and satisfaction."
While you're reading up on TeleNav, you should stop by their blog and enter to win $200 in Free Gas.
More at TeleNav
November 29, 2007
Google has rolled out a beta for its Google Maps Mobile that allows anyone with a select set of phones to use Google Maps on that phone and get their location. The technology isn’t relying on GPS signals, but instead relying on its mapping and understanding of mobile phone towers. The software will still pull in GPS signals if your phone has them.
In pulling it up this morning on my phone, I was able to get the new 2.0 version of the application (go to www.google.com/gmm) and about 10 seconds after the maps loaded on the screen there I was – a little blue dot on the screen. The only problem is that I was set as an “Approximate Location to within 1700 meters”. Ouch – not bad in the country, but let’s see later what it’s like in the city. Just for reference, I can pull up my location on a GPS +/- about 10 feet. The other issue is that for a while it was jumping around, presumably as it found itself associated with different cell towers. Hey, it’s a beta, and I’ll take it for now.
Update: Just as bad int he city. Sitting in downtown Boston, I get Location within 1700 meters..... and that covers most of downtown; from Cheers all the way to Southie, and from the Aquarium way into the Back Bay. Good luck getting directions that make sense there.
In other news, Google is trying to solve Global Warming……. wow.
More on Google Maps with My Location