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.
Since the Gear Live and Bleeding Edge crew has spent the past week in our travels to and from E3, this one seems more than appropriate. Boeing has released some shots of the interior of their new luxury aircraft, the Boeing 787. Looking at the images, this thing is a beauty - and would have been much more enjoyable than flying on our smaller jet via Alaska Airlines. The new place features nice, wide aisles, dynamic lighting, and larger overhead bins available throughout the aircraft. Even better, there will be area that are designed to make the air traveler feel more at home with their flight experience.
Read More | Flight Global
German company Loremo AG has introduced a new vehicle which they claim gets 157 miles per gallon. The new car uses state-of-the-art aerodynamics combined with a lightweight body to combat gas guzzling. While some of the fuel efficient cars use smaller engines that deliver less power, this car doesn’t play around in the power department. The base model uses a 2 cylinder 20 hp turbo diesel engine that reaches a top speed of 100 MPH with a 0 to 60 time of 9 seconds, and the GT model boasts a top speed of 135 MPH. Loremo has a new technology that they call “linear cell structure” that makes the car light without sacrificing strength. Both models meet static/dynamic requirements for crash safety. Standard features on both models include airbags, particle filter, dashboard computer, and air conditioning. Loremo AG plans to sell the Loremo LS for less than 11,000 euros and the GT for 15,000 euros. With the rising costs of gas in the US we would like to see a vehicle like this available. Unfortunately this car is still dependant on gas, and we doubt its strength in a crash, as tiny car + low weight = death.
Read More | If Energy
What better way to keep the kids quiet on long trips than a built-in or portable DVD player and game system? Yes, copious amounts of duct tape works just as well (if not better), but the electronics entertainment method is less likely to get you into trouble. Visteon introduced their Dockable Entertainment system back in January, but it’s only now becoming available. The system consists of a DVD player with a 10.2” LCD and a slot in the lid where you can dock a Game Boy Advance for gaming on the “big” screen. Other amenities include connections for up to three more GB Advance systems for multiplayer action, a wireless game controller, wireless headphones, remote control, and an overhead docking station.
Available next month, May 2006, for a rumored $1200. More pictures after the jump.
POV uses LED lights on a spinning device to create an image. There have been several devices recently that demonstrate this technology, but none as awesome as the do it yourself SpokePOV kit. Basically, SpokePOV turns the wheels of your bike into fancy LED displays. The kit comes with all of the parts needed including a circuit board, electronics, 60 bright LEDs (30 for each side of the wheel), and 1K of memory (enough for one static image). The memory can be upgraded to 4K for use in an animated display. The documentation appears to be quite good and even a beginner should be able to complete this project. The kit retails for $37.50 here.
Read More | SpokePOV
Typical GPS systems require you to enter your destination by street address which can be a tedious process. Navman is out to change that with their NavPix enabled GPS systems, the iCN720 and iCN750. The GPS units have a built in 1.3MP camera that allows you to take pictures of your house, favorite restaurants, landmarks, etc., while it tags each picture with the relevant locational data. Prash Vadgama, president of Navman believes that “images are an obvious and unmistakeable way to identify a destination”. He continues by saying, “Each NavPix image has the exact geographical location of where that picture was taken embedded in the image data. You then use that image as an alternative way to choose and set your destination in the Navman iCN700 series”.
Since you won’t have pictures of every destination in advance, the Navman website will have images of famous landmarks and interesting places, as well as a method to create your own geo-referenced images which can be downloaded to your GPS. In addition to letting you create and store your own images online, Navman will allow users to trade pictures, further enhancing the reach of the NavPix feature.
Available in Europe in May 2006 with no word on US availability. Full specifications after the jump.
You’re all packed for your trip and ready to board the airplane for the long flight to your destination, when you suddenly realize with horror that you’ve forgotten your sleeping bag. Your what? Yes, poshAir has introduced their one and only product - a sleeping bag intended for use while traveling by plane, train, automobile and, um, yacht. The self-titled poshAir is complete with a zipper for sealing yourself in, a hood to cover your noggin, an internal pocket, openings for your arms so you’re not completely cocooned, and belt loops
to make it really difficult to untangle from your seat
for the seat belt to pass through. Billed as a “hygienic and cost-effective solution for sleeping on a plane during long flights”, the poshAir will certainly garner a few looks from other travelers. Available in five different sizes, the company will even custom design one to your tastes (is invisible an option?).
So, as you sadly board your flight without your beloved poshAir, you can rest assured knowing that at least you won’t
be alone. Available for $99 USD for adult sizes and $69 USD for the child size.
Convergence. It’s been one of the holy grails of the electronics industry for quite some time. The idea is simple enough - empower one device to act as a central point of reference for multiple devices and/or incorporate those multiple devices into one mega unit that does it all. Depending on what portion of the industry you look at, the ideal concept of convergence might be a single point of control or reference, for multiple devices. By approaching convergence as a many-to-one scenario, it allows individuals to choose their own devices according to preference or need. Instead of being forced into using an all-in-one device that may not have all the features desired, a control device would simply make use of what devices the user has brought with him or her.
As a case in point, Volkswagen has been working on an automobile computer that takes devices such as the iPod and Treo, and provides a single point of control for them. The concept, named Gypsy, is a separate project from the in-car media center project that Microsoft and Volkswagen introduced at CeBIT. Volkswagen’s Electronics Research Lab (ERL) is working with Google to utilize Google Earth as the mapping system of choice, and sees the system as being extensible through the use of widgets. C|Net has an interesting, if lightweight, video of the Gypsy product in action. It only scratches the surface of what is possible, but it brings to mind what will one day be possible. The roadblocks to successfully implement such a wide-reaching device are abundant, but given a common set of communication standards, and a lot of luck, we can hope for the best.
Read More | C|Net
Regardless of which side of the satellite radio camp you are in, XM or Sirius, competition is always a good thing (for the consumer anyway). To that end, Sirius has signed an exclusive deal with Audi of America and Volkswagen of America. The deal will make Sirius the satellite radio provider of choice for both car manufacturers up through the 2012 model year. Audi estimates that 50% of its vehicles sold are equipped with satellite radio, while Volkswagen expects to have an installed base of 80% of its vehicles.
What was once almost a rout with XM leading by a huge margin, has turned into a fairly equal battle for market share. It’s arguable as to which company offers better technology (XM gets the nod IMHO) and better programming (Sirius I do believe), but either one makes terrestrial radio passe. The war for subscribers is really starting to heat up.
In this episode we chat with the director of Internet comedy ‘Cherub,’ check out technology that is meant to keep your eyes focused on the road, and much more:
Delphi Eye Tracking Software
Scott-O: Cherub Interview
Wireless Motion Sensor
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