Nokia has brought out its N95 to help you find your way. With its 2.8-inch (240 x 320) QVGA screen with up to 16 million colors, it has 8GB of memory, A-GPS, and HSDPA connectivity. It features a 5 mp cam with Carl Zeiss optics, WiFi, music player and FM tuner, and supports Nokia Share online for a one-click upload of images or videos for Flickr or Vox. If you live in the U.S., you also get a bonus of voice guidance and direction in their Maps for 6 months as a freebie. Look for the N95 online and at retailers for $779.00.
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Garmin’s nüvifone should give the iPhone a run for its money. After all, Garmin is all about the GPS. The all touchscreen (3.5-inch) phone also features a web browser, IM, e-mail, and music capability, and Google search complete with ratings for businesses and restaurants. When you dock it in its vehicle mount, it automatically activates the GPS and menu, and will allow hands-free conversations. The nüvifone comes with pre-loaded maps of North America, and/or both Eastern and Western Europe with voice-prompted directions. To find out more and get info on Garmin Online, the elite service with traffic, stock prices, news, and weather, head for their site. Expect availability in the 3rd quarter of this year.
Read More | Garmin nüvifone Product Page
Disney is apparently toying with the idea of a Magic Connection System in its parks. With a Nintendo DS, users can click individual areas and rides and find the waiting time. Check out restaurants by reading their menus. While this is still at the rumor stage, it is reported that people are indeed trying the program out. We think it is a fine idea since we tend to get navigationally challenged at large amusement parks. We would even welcome the idea of adapting the idea at a mall during the holidays, so that we can find out ahead of time if the latest hot Elmo toy is sold out before we get there.
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TomTom has released its new GPS Go 920T with a 4.3-inch touchscreen, hands-free operation with text-to-speech ability, a built-in FM transmitter and enhanced positioning technology. With integrated Bluetooth remote and a storage capacity of 4GB, the device comes with maps of both Europe and North America. It has a RDS-TMC Traffic Receiver with a free year’s subscription to its traffic warning service. If you want more mapping capacity, there is an SD slot for additional input. Available with a mounting arm, the Go 920T carries a top of the line price of $599.95 after holiday rebate.
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Yukyng has unveiled their viliv X7 GPS DMB that runs on AU1250 600MHz CPU and supports TPEG/DMB. It features a 7-inch, 600 x 480 touchscreen as well as a cam and has image and text viewing capability. It holds up to 4GB storage that can expand to 8GB with an additional SDHC card. But the part we like best is the ability to connect to karaoke, so that if you manage to get lost, you can always sing until someone finds you and tells you to shut up. Look for a MSRP of 499,000 KRW ($539.00.)
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Google is back with more mapping fun. This time they have created a new mobile phone technology for those without GPS. My Location is now in more than twenty countries and lets you in on real-time traffic conditions, detailed directions, integrated searches, satellite images and interactive maps. It will work on most web-enabled phones, including Java, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, and the latest Nokia/Symbian. iPhone and Treo users will just have to wait their turn.
Not quite as accurate as GPS, Google says that locating the user’s phone is still in transition and hopes that will change in time.The company claims that it will not use any personal information on the user. No ads will be posted on the service, but we suspect it won’t be long before that becomes a reality, too.
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Maps and directions are available on cell phones, PDA’s, GPS units, Onstar, or heaven forbid: actual paper maps. This doesn’t stop people from getting lost from time to time, so Google is partnering with gas companies to embed the Google Maps application into gas pumps at 3,500 gas stations across the United States starting next month.
The newly teched-out gas pumps will feature an Internet connection and the Google Maps application. By providing this at the pump motorists will be able to both fill up on gas and get directions to their destination. The participating gas stations will likely get a boost in business from drivers too stubborn or embarrassed to ask for directions from anything other than a shiny, all-knowing machine. This sounds like a win for retailers, motorists, and Google alike.
Read More | LA Times