May 19, 2009

Waze - Driver Generated Mapping Program


Waze is trying to change how people think and interact with their navigation device, by getting citizen mappers and traffic spotters out there to help generate an accurate view of the road network, traffic conditions and accidents. The Waze platform sits on your smartphone and anonymously sends information back about your location, speed, allowing you to "report" on your travels. With enough users, the platform can become highly accurate and allow for the most up to date information.

Waze announced that they are starting a public Alpha today and will open it up to a beta test later this year. The program is available only for the Android family of phones, and wil soon be available for the iPhone (now you're talking!). It's pretty ambitious to do all of this on a smartphone, but they have a history of success in Israel where they started.

"waze launched its first mobile application in Israel, where it has been downloaded by more than 80,000 commuters and is the fastest-growing navigation application in that market. Within less than a year the community created the entire navigable map from scratch, and real-time traffic information reached approximately 90 percent coverage and over 85 percent 'estimated time of arrival' accuracy. waze has tens of thousands of daily commuters in Israel, using it several times a day to receive optimal traffic-aware routing to their destination for free."

More at

Full Press Release after the jump.....

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

March 31, 2009

CTIA Wireless Show - More GPS Navigation on Phones

The CTIA wireless show opens in Las Vegas tomorrow, and it is already spawning news of new handsets, new applications and appears to be a hotbed of innovation for all things wireless. Now, more than ever there is a strong current of momentum behind wireless phone GPS navigation.

  • Garmin is launching the Nuvifone later this year; no doubt about it this thing navigates.
  • The iPhone is finally getting better support for turn by turn directions after a long time on the market without that support
  • Phones with navigation applications certainly aren't new, with TeleNav offering the capability on numerous phones, and companies like Verizon offering the application for a small fee per month directly from them.

For me, more than anything, it's the ability to have a larger format screen that makes it viable, and the recent onslaught of smartphones, the iPhone included, that offer some reasonable amount of real estate to see the map and directions seem to be making that vision of navigation on a phone a viable reality.

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

February 17, 2009

Garmin Nuvifone Up Close

Engadget has posted a quick story and more importantly a video on the iPhone, presumably while they were getting driven around for a first hand look at the Nuvifone. In the video, Jessica Myers, the Garmin PR specialist offers a quick overview of its capabilities, including their stated intent of targeting location based services with the phone. Quick tap to find local events, and then another to add them to your calendar. You can also elect to time, date and location stamp your emails..... cool addition.

Similar to Garmin's easy to understand Nuvi interface, the Nuvifone will have three main icons; Phone, a "Where to?" type button, and the Web Browser. The interface allows you to flick through a rotating menu of other application/features like a stock ticker. The unit auto-rotates from portrait to landscape in all situations, but most importantly when in the navigation screen. If you've ever been typing on a smaller unit, you'll be thankful that Garmin has included predictive text in the design to help you get through those tough typing situations.

Jump over to Engadget for the video.

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

Nokia 6710 - Big Plans in the Navigation Market

Nokia has released the Nokia 6710, and is talking about its navigation capabilities as a primary feature of the unit, as they leverage their NAVTEQ map investment that they made to buy the mapping company. Nokia already "got it" from a location aware and location based services standpoint, which undoubtedly pushed them into the purchase, but we now have the push into navigation handsets like never before; consumers want it and the technology is more than capable to deliver.

With automotive and pedestrian modes combined with the advanced map content like aerial photos, 3-D buildings and traffic alerts, the unit gets pretty appealing. The 6710 Navigation unit has a 2.6-inch screen (small compared to the 3.5-inch standard GPS unit), outdoor optimized QVGA screen, runs on the 3G/GSM and features A-GPS to get faster satellite fixes.

Via Engadget and Nokia Press Release

Full Press Release Below....

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

February 12, 2009

Garmin Nuvifone M20


The Garmin Nuvifone was announced today with a lot more detail than we have seen on the Nuvifone, offering a glimpse into how the unit will perform. Garmin certainly is working to figure out the phone, the navigation and the other location based services that are enabled by the GPS capability.

The Nuvifone will have full navigation capabilities (of course), including turn-by-turn voice promoted turn commands. On top of that, the maps and Points of Interest are pre-loaded, and with internet search, you'll probably be able to find everything under the sun.

Teh Nuvifone will be running a windows operating system and as such will be using ActiveSync to sync up your Outlook, or photos. The 4GB or 8GB models should be available and will be capturing life with a 3 mega pixel camera that of course can tie to the location of where you took that shot.


Full Press Release Below

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

February 10, 2009

Google Latitude - Your Big Brother is Watching You

Google Latitude is a new product from Google that allows you to let friends and family see your location, so that your big brother really could be watching you; whoever has access to the software and who you give permission to watch where you are.

The latitude software downloads onto your compatible phone (currently BlackBerry, Sybian based systems and of course the Andriod based Google Phones - not the iPhone yet) and allows you to share your location with others who have the Google Latitude software. Once loaded and sharing, the software offers to see your location on Google Maps, and chat or SMS with that friend starting directly from the Google Maps application.

More at Google Latitude

Google has a quick intro:

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

February 4, 2009

More on the Nuvifone - "Several Nuvifone Models in 2009"

Garmin is hooking up with Asustek to work on a wider array of mobile phone offerings in the market. Not a surprise to hear that the Nuvifone is coming to the market, but what is interesting here is that the companies are already collaborating on multiple handsets ahead of the initial launch of the Nuvifone. It makes sense that Garmin would introduce several models eventually (just look at the broad line of GPS devices). This also starts to lay the groundwork for Garmin to be the OEM navigation application in a wider array of offerings.

Press release follows:

Garmin Ltd. and ASUSTeK Computer today announced a strategic alliance that will leverage the companies' navigation and mobile telephony expertise to design, manufacture and distribute co-branded location-centric mobile phones. Garmin and ASUS have already begun joint development on a diverse mobile phone product line, which will be known as the Garmin-Asus nüvifone series. The companies expect to bring to market several Garmin-Asus nüvifone models in 2009, and a new Garmin-Asus nüvifone model will be announced at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, Spain, February 16-19, 2009.

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

January 4, 2009

Garmin Nuvifone - More Details


Garmin's media mini-site for the Garmin Nuvifone continues to surface some details about the forthcoming phone that will give the world Garmin's spin on mobile phone all-in oneness with a proper navigation system built-in. no connected unit worth it's weight in dirt can function without a solid POI search capability, and Google is looking like the way to go for Garmin from the picture above. The unit will of course come with navigation but also bluetooth, a camera, functionality for geotagging those pictures, a web browser, and those items that make it a smart phone - email and address book.

Scheduled to release later this year, we are hoping for some good things out of Garmin's connected GPS release.


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

December 19, 2008

Alltel - New Application makes Mobile Phones into Handheld GPS

Altel wireless is releasing a new application that allows you to download maps of areas, and utilize your GPS enabled cell phone to plan hikes, plan waypoints, and routes through the outdoors. Pitched as a way to skip the handheld GPS purchase and head straight outdoors it will allow you to do all that you want without issue. The cost is $1.99 a day, $5.99 a month or $39 a year. Not bad compared to your average $150 handheld, but we're skeptical about performance. One thing I do know is that I am pretty grateful for the waterproof nature of my handheld when I get caught in the rain, something my mobile won't do for me. On balance though, I think that the Alltel system will do well with the folks who rely on their mobile for everything; I certainly don't, well at least yet.

Full Press Release Below......

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

October 16, 2008

WalMart May have iPhone 3G[ps] for Black Friday


With the iPhone 3G's integrated GPS, it still isn't a turn by turn directions master replacing the Navigation Device that you probably have or want on your dashboard, but it is seeing several applications that make good use of that GPS. RunKeeper is a good example of fitness tracking, while there are several Geocaching applications that can keep you going in the woods (as long as you have a cell signal).

Well, it looks like WalMart might be offering the iPhone for the big Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving. It is said that they will be activating it in the stores, just like BestBuy and the phone stores. Personally, I think that standing in an activation line at WalMart on Black Friday is not what Steve Jobs had in mind for a customer experience when he first had iPhone users activate them easily and quickly through iTunes when they got home.

We've had some pretty good coverage for GPS Deals on Black Friday last year, and the year before and will be gearing up to cover all the GPS deals this year for Black Friday.

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

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