Hinging on what must be a successful nuvi 360 launch, Garmin looks to be gearing up for the holiday release of the nuvi 660. The 660 just received FCC approval, which gives Garmin the go-ahead to start pumping these things out. Some of the new features cited for this one include a 4.3-inch display, GTM20 and GTM21 functionality (to help with driving during heavy traffic periods), and a super-cool FM transmitter. If strong enough, imagine the ability to broadcast your directions to another car that is traveling with you to the same destination. While cool, we somehow don’t think that this is the intention. Still, we think we will see this one hit retail sometime this November.
Read More | MobileWhack
Garmin today introduced an accessory for their Forerunner 305 GPS device (pictured at right) which allows athletes to train indoors where a GPS signal is unavailable. The new Forerunner 305 Foot Pad is priced at $99.99 and will be available in October.
The Garmin Forerunner 305 Foot Pad is a “shoe-mounted device which wirelessly communicates with the wrist-worn Forerunner 305 to provide accurate distance and speed while training on treadmills or indoor tracks”. The Foot Pad Pod uses a pair of accelerometers to measure each stride to provide a runner’s speed and distance information. The unit features a simple and secure lace-mounted attachment, and runs on a single AAA battery (70 hours typical use).
Read More | Garmin Forerunner 305 Foot Pad Press Release
This has to be one of the more unusual devices to come out from Sony in a while. It is the GPS-CS1, used to plot digital images taken with a camera to a map so one can remember exactly where they’ve been.
The GPS-CS1, according to Sony, is priced at around $150 and should be available next month. The 12-channel unit is 3½” inches long and comes with a carabineer to attach it to something so it doesn’t get lost. As Sony explained, the device works by importing “the logged data from the GPS device, using the supplied USB cable, and then downloading the digital images to a computer. The supplied GPS Image Tracker software synchronizes the images on your digital camera with the latitude, longitude and time readings from the GPS-CS1 device. Once synchronized, your photos can become virtual push pins on an online map by activating the Picture Motion Browser software bundled with the latest Sony cameras and camcorders released after July. You can easily add new photos and coordinates to the mapping web site, courtesy of Google Maps.”
Read More | Sony GPS-CS1 Press Release
If you’ve always longed to know graphically on your GPS screen where the nearest McDonald’s is (and you know you have), your wish will soon be a reality. Tele Atlas, one of the major suppliers of GPS data, announced today they are adding a McDonald’s branded icon to its expanding list of brand icons viewable on your GPS screen when you are in a given area.
These icons, said Tele Atlas, “give end users the choice to instantly identify nearby services based on well-known business logos”. In addition to McDonald’s other brand icons available on Tele Atlas maps include Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers restaurants; Chevron, Phillips 66, Shell Oil Company and Texaco gas stations; Comfort Inn, Doubletree, Hilton Hotels, Holiday Inn Hotels - Resorts and Motel 6 lodging facilities; and Circuit City, Comp USA, FedEx Kinkos, Target and Wal-Mart retail stores.
Read More | Tele Atlas Press Release
For those out there that have to push it to the extreme just a bit, the Garmin Nuvi 360 GPS device is right up your alley. Rather than opting to be a great GPS unit, the Nuvi 360 also plays MP3s and audio books, and also includes a language converter, picture viewer, world clock, currency converter, anti-theft lock, and has built-in Bluetooth. Oh, and of course, it has maps that will guide you all through the USA, Canada, Puerto Rico, as well as a couple other places in North America. Add to that a super thin form factor, coming in at 3.8 by 2.0 by 0.8 inches and weighing just 5.1 ounces, and it seems we have a winner here. I mean, the touch screen is cool, and SD card support is great for a couple of the add-on features too…but the price - ouch. The Garmin Nuvi 360 sells for a staggering $965 USD, although you can find it cheaper, but not by much. If you have nine hundred bucks laying around, or are looking for what may be the ultimate in portable gear, check out the Nuvi 360.
Read More | Nuvi 360 Product page
Averatec, a maker of notebook computers, on Friday unveiled their first GPS device. The new Voya 350 is priced at upwards of $429 and should be available now.
The Averatec Voya 350 sports a 3.5” wide LCD touch screen and comes with pre-loaded NAVTEQ street level map data for the entire U.S. and Canada. The device runs on the latest Microsoft Windows CE operating system and offers a wide array of GPS related features, including audible voice prompts, turn-by-turn guidance, automatic route recalculation, a built-in helical antenna and multi-point routing.
Read More | Averatec Voya 350 Product Page
I pity the fool who messes with my TomTom GPS! If you’ve ever wanted to do away with the boring GPS voice and have a celebrity give you driving directions, TomTom is the GPS company for you as today they announced a deal with Navtones, a provider of celebrity voices for turn-by-turn guidance, to offer celebrity voices for a range of TomTom’s devices.
Around 70 preloaded voices, which can reportedly be as low as $12.95 per voice, are available, with some of the celebrities including Mr. T, Burt Reynolds and Dennis Hopper. Download instructions and more details are available on the Navtones Web site.
Read More | Navtones
Has after-market GPS device glare got you down? I’ve definitely found it to be annoying in the past myself. This may solve the glare problem for some: GlareStomper Visors.
Originally designed for Tomtom Go GPS units, the Corona, California based company which makes the GlareStompers announced they’ve expanded the product line up to encompass GPS devices from Garmin, Magellan, Navman and Sony. This is in addition to now covering every Tomtom device on the market.
The GlareStomper Visors, which are flexible, reportedly block out ambient light which can wash out GPS displays. Sunlight is prevented from striking both the tops and sides of the unit. They are made of black Cordura nylon and priced at under $20 each.
Read More | GlareStomper Visors Product Page
Microsoft released their business mapping/navigation software, MapPoint 2006, just a short time ago. The GPS units Microsoft bundles with their products are simply rebadged Pharos devices, and previously have been iGPS-360 models. The iGPS-360 while decent, contains the older SiRFstar IIe/LP chipset and is slower in signal acquisition and can track less satellites than the new iGPS-500’s which are SiRFstar III equipped.
Prior to its release there had been speculation that the new iGPS-500, included in the MapPoint 2006 with GPS Locator edition, would be much smaller than the iGPS-360 units. This would have made accessories, like the iGPS-BT Bluetooth cradle, absolutely useless with the new devices. We’re happy to report that the new model GPS units are indeed the same size, and although they have slightly different pinouts (as shown below), all existing accessories function just fine.
The new TORQ N100 from Sound Solutions is a well rounded WM5 mobile phone that features not only quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz), but a SiRF Star III GPS as well. You won’t find an Intel XScale processor in the N100, which probably explains it’s fairly decent battery life of 3.5-4 hours talk time and 10-15 hours PocketPC usage. Instead, a Samsung CPU running at 400MHz fulfills all computational duties. Other features include a reasonable amount of memory with 128MB ROM and 64MB RAM, a 2.8-inch TFT LCD touchscreen at 240x320, Bluetooth v1.2, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and a mini-SD card slot.
Notable by their absence is any form of broadband be it Wi-Fi, EDGE or UMTS. A real shame considering the TORQ N100 has just about everything else. Okay, a VGA screen would be nice if we’re being picky, and well, we are.
The TORQ N100 will be available May 2006 with pricing TBA.