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PocketGPSWorld.com Event Article

CeBIT 2007: The leading business event for the digital world

CeBIT 2007 is rapidly creeping up on us. It seems like only yesterday we were at CES in Las Vegas, and now we are getting ready, along with thousands of other companies, for CeBIT 2007 in Hannover Germany.

CeBIT 2007 runs from the 15th to the 21st of March. Last year TomTom broke with tradition and announced their new products a couple of weeks before the tradefair. This seems to have started a new trend and both Navigon and Garmin have released details of some new products. In light of this we have started our CeBIT 2007 reporting just that little bit early.

The PocketGPSWorld.com team will be out in Germany with Darren, Lutz, Maft and myself. We will be having meetings with all the main companies, and a lot of the other manufacturers as well. If you have any questions that you would like us to ask any company a question, post it in this forum you can also use the forum to discuss CeBIT news and events.

Created by mike barrett on Saturday, March 03 @ 14:08:44 UTC

CeBIT 2007 Wrapup

CeBIT is now over, and I think that this year has been one of the best so far. Not that there was much in the way of new gadgets to play with, but the atmosphere, and the whole buzz of the show was what made it for me. As we were not exhibiting this year there was plenty of time to go round and see most of the people we wanted to, but there is never enough time to catch up with old friends... We still missed seeing most of the non-navigation halls, and some of the navigation companies that were not in the main hall got missed.

One of the great things about CeBIT is the constant partying. We missed some of the really big ones like the O2 party with the Pussy Cat Dolls. But we went to some really good ones, including the Taiwan Night where we were entertained in traditional Taiwanese style. The Taiwan night had in the past few years been in the Beer Hall, and Sander from Amaryllo obtained some tickets for us. The night was bitterly cold as we made our way from the GPS hall to the Beer Hall. When we arrived and checked our bags into the cloakroom we went to find our seats for the evening. None of the hostesses could work out where we were supposed to sit. It wasn't until one of the managers came over and pointed out that the tickets were not for the beer hall, but for the Convention Centre just a short walk from the GPS hall... How many times do we do that with SatNav??? Assume we know where we are going and end up in the wrong place. Each night after the parties we trundled back to the guest house, and ended up in the local Chinese restaurant. They stayed open specially late for us often until past 1am, with the next day starting at 6am sleep was a luxury we couldn't afford!!

We did learn one lesson though. Next year if we go with Lutz either we bring along a gag, or chairs and a good book... It was quite interesting going to a meeting only to have Lutz hijack it and explain to various people how they have got it wrong and it would be much more efficient coded in a particular way. In fact the first time we went to see CoPilot to see Version 7 we were introduced to Alain Kornhauser. Lutz took the opportunity to spend two hours discussing how to build a car that can recognise hazards and drive itself on the road. Fortunately there was some beer on the ALK stand, but after an hour we left Lutz and headed out to the iGO party. The second time we went there we met the CTO of ALK when Lutz went into a very detailed description of how they should be indexing large numbers of POIs. This even went as far as him commandeering one of the demo PCs and hacking into the PocketGPSWorld.com database showing a growing crowd of people our system structure.

There have been a lot of rumors floating around about CeBIT surviving as a major Tradeshow in the technology calendar. At PocketGPSWorld we try to report only facts, but a lot of people in major navigation companies were saying that with CES in the USA, and then 3GSM in Barcelona, and IFA in Berlin, CeBIT is not as important as it used to be. It is also very expensive. Some were suggesting that as the navigation market is nearing maturity the focus is shifting from Business to Business and Buyers more to Consumers. One thing we did notice was that although we did still have a navigation hall it was very much smaller than it was last year, probably only 2 thirds the size. The fact that TomTom only had a stand with their business applications, and no consumer products was telling as well. On the other hand CeBIT were reporting increased number of visitors and more value contracts being drawn up.

I think for all of us the show highlight was the new iGO software. We now have an iGO distributor in the UK (more details to be revealed soon). The 3D software that was demoed to us was impressive. It remains to be seen how practical it is when driving, but for sheer novelty value it is something great to show your friends... We will be visiting Budapest later in the year when iGO 8 is launched. We also have some special treats which have cost us dear, coming soon!!!

Other things that caught our eyes were the latest Bluetooth GPS with integrated TMC from Amaryllo, this has an internal antenna and outputs the TMC data in the same datastream as the position information. Obviously you need an application that is data aware to take advantage of this information. Destinator 7 is already compatible and it is reported that iGO is working on integrating the feed as well.

Overall this year's CeBIT has been evolutionary rather than revolutionary, with a lot of new product announcements, as we would expect, but very little that breaks the mould having us drooling and waiting to get our hands on it. I think what we have been seeing is the maturing of the market, with a lot of products starting to be "styled" rather than boxy, the software is getting more stable with more features, and a lot of focus of additional content.

The next important Expo is, of course, the PocketGPSWorld.com one where not only will you be able to see all the new products from CeBIT, but we are also expecting some new consumer SatNav announcements.

Product Pirates
Lawyers for Herbert Richter visiting a competitor's stand

Product Pirates
Left is the copy, right the original from HR. Nearly identical, apart from one screw.

Product Pirates
Harald Richter is visiting competitor's stands

Weird stuff
A Bruce Lee BT headset

Weird stuff
A Robopet

Next Generation Solar GPS (mockup)

BT GPS with display

Another one

phone holder with antenna coupler (!!)

What parties?

Taiwan Nights...

Article by Mike Barrett on Thursday, March 22 @ 11:35:18 UTC

Mavin Technology showcase Multifunction GPS devices and BT Handsfree

Mavin Technology were showcasing a number of GPS and navigation systems. Mainly focusing on Bluetooth GPS and Mobile phone accessories they were showing all sorts of devices from Bluetooth Headsets, through to a small hands free set. With the current legislation regarding the use of mobile phones in cars, not just in Europe, but increasingly in the USA as well.

They have an interesting Bluetooth GPS, the GPS Sporty, which not only works as a BT GPS, but also records tracks, and has an electronic compass on it. This device can be used for up to 16 hours in Navigation mode or 160 hours in "sports mode". I will be requesting a review sample from my friend Peggy...

Click here for more details.

Article by mike barrett on Thursday, March 22 @ 11:23:08 UTC

Some more pictures from the new Navigon devices

Navigon are so far the only ones to provide lane assist information - telling you which lane to take at larger intersections. Now they have added a junction view feature. Enjoy the screenshots...

Junction View

Article by Lutz Bendlin on Thursday, March 22 @ 03:47:00 UTC

Globalsat preview 2 new Bluetooth GPS receivers and a Digital TV Navigator

Globalsat are well known for introducing their Bluetooth GPS solutions, and this year was no exception. They had two new devices on display, a nice slim one, and a slightly more stylish one in pink ( I know a few girls would like one of those). Despite the size of these devices they are still charged by a standard mini-USB connector. It shows the feat of engineering to actually design these devices so small. Although one was fully functional they are not expected to be entering mass production until June (around the time we will be visiting Computex in Taiwan samples ready for us please).

The other new device on display was a new Navigator with integrated Digital Television. I am yet to be convinced about the virtues of having TV in a car especially as I was scared to death by a Taiwanese taxi driver paying more attention to a soap opera than the road. However I can see a usage model for kids in the back so coupling the TV signal to an external monitor could be a winning combination.

Two new Bluetooth GPS devices from Globalsat
Two new Bluetooth GPS devices from Globalsat

Mini-USB power
Mini-USB power

Mini-USB power
Mini-USB power

Digital TV Navigator
Digital TV Navigator

Digital TV Navigator
Digital TV Navigator

Article by mike barrett on Wednesday, March 21 @ 23:39:25 UTC

Navman show the B2 and B2+ in a minimalistic way

The Navman stand was rather interesting. An exercise in being minimalist? The stand was white sided box with 2 portholes per side and a front desk. In the portholes were some of their current products and a tantalizing glimpse at something "coming soon". The front desk was a barrier to people wanting to meet Navman executives, but, of course, we were allowed through to meet Colin Holloway the PR and Internet Director of Navman Europe.

Colin showed us the new B2 and B2+ mounts for the Fx0 series which add TMC and Handsfree to your SatNav. We spent some time looking at these units before asking the more serious questions that everyone wants answers to: The Brunswick sell-off.

Interestingly it turned out that it didn't matter who you spoke to, Colin, Martin Capel-Smith, or Bruce Swan they all said the same thing word perfectly... Basically the deal with Mitac is almost complete they are going through the final phases of "Due Diligence". After the acquisition Mitac who also own Mio will run the two companies in competition, with both companies being allowed to grow in their own paths. The fact that Navman were at CeBIT, and that they are supporting the PocketGPSWorld.com Expo in April are indicators that nothing will change in the near future. The more distant future remains to be seen.

The Minimistic Navman stand at CeBIT
The Minimistic Navman stand at CeBIT

The Minimistic Navman stand at CeBIT
The Minimistic Navman stand at CeBIT

Teasing images from Navman
Teasing images from Navman

Teasing images from Navman
Teasing images from Navman

Article by mike barrett on Wednesday, March 21 @ 23:15:40 UTC

Amaryllo TripTracker

Not a brand new device Amaryllo's TripTracker GPS is a sports (and IPX7 rated for that purpose) unit that can be used for when training or participating in any sporting activities. The device uses SiRFStarII rather than the more common III because the designers found the chipset's performance better suited it's use. Using bundled software you can convert the trip logs into Google Earth format to see your routes.

Article by Darren Griffin on Monday, March 19 @ 14:24:59 UTC

Amaryllo Announce Trinity BT GPS with TMC

Dutch GPS company Amaryllo chose CeBIT to release their unique Bluetooth GPS Receiver called 'Trinity'. This sleek and stylish receiver has a built-in FM-TMC receiver and can receive and decode TMC traffic information when used with compatible software packages. Nokia have already chosen to support this receiver with their Smart2Go software package and Destinator will be bundling it with their new software.

Unlike other BT/TMC solutions this receiver does not need a custom driver and so can be used with any BT and NMEA compatible device. The TMC data is encoded as additional GPS sentences and so packages that are not compatible with the TMC part can still use the GPS position data.

Another neat feature is that should you need an extension antenna (although reception when we tried it was superb, picking up TMC data even in the halls) you just use any USB cable!

Amaryllo's new Trinity Bluetooth GPS with RDS-FM Receiver

GPS, TMC and Bluetooth from the Trinity
GPS, TMC and Bluetooth from the Trinity

Bluetooth GPS support in Destinator 7
Bluetooth GPS support in Destinator 7

Article by Darren Griffin on Monday, March 19 @ 14:15:32 UTC

Holux Release Light-Sensitive Navigator

In the hunt for features that make PNDs stand out from the plethora of devices available, Taiwanese company Holux have launched the GPS Smile 55 Car Navigator. The GPS Smile 55 contains a light-sensor that automatically adjusts the screen brightness to make viewing more comfortable. In the dark the screen is dimmed and in bright light the sreen is at full brightness – there are ten stages for the screen brightness and the feature can be disabled.

As well as the light sensor the GPS Smile features SiRF Star III chipset, 4.3inch wide touchscreen, built in speaker, headphone socket, SD Card slot, MP3 player, photo viewer, video player and eBook reader.

Light sensitive navigators
Light sensitive navigators

Article by maft on Monday, March 19 @ 11:07:12 UTC

ALK Announce CoPilot Live 7

ALK were showing an early version of their new navigation software, CoPilot Live 7. The main changes are a complete overhaul of the menu system making it a lot simpler to carry out the basics, but still having the ability to finely customise the software by putting the more complex settings and configurations deeper in the menu system.

Other interface improvements include a single button press to change views while navigating (rather than having to enter a menu) as well as an improved 3D view. CoPilot Live 7 uses its own graphics engine making it more versatile with regards to versions for different platforms. It also means users can create their own colour schemes and skins. These can then be shared through an online community via ‘CoPilot Central’. CoPilot Central is a desktop application designed for trip planning, skin customisation, diagnostics and POI handling.

There are no specific dates for release but we have been told that there will be a ‘field beta’ out soon giving the impression that it is near completion.

Article by maft on Monday, March 19 @ 10:54:38 UTC

First video of the new iGO 3D interface

We thought that we would share the experience of the iGO 3D interface with you. Maft and I both took some video on our digital cameras (so the quality is not great), so that you can have an insight into the look and feel of the new navigation system.

Click here for Mike's movie, and Click here for Maft's movie.

Article by mike barrett on Sunday, March 18 @ 09:14:24 UTC

New Navigon PNDs Due In June

Three new PNDs were on display from Navigon. Each one featuring Lane Assist and speed camera information. The three models come with either UK / regional maps (3100, 5100, 7100) or European maps (3110, 5110, 7110). Each one uses the SiRF Star III chipset and the 3xxx and 4xxx have 3.5inch touch screens while the 7xxx uses a 4.3inch widescreen as well as having Bluetooth for hands free calling. The 5xxx and 7xxx have TMC function.

A stylish mount has been designed for these units and the 5xxx and 7xxx can rotate to be used in either landscape or portrait view.

New Navigon PND
Navigon's Stylish New PND's Coming Soon

Navogon PND
The New Mount Design is certainly different!

Article by maft on Sunday, March 18 @ 09:05:41 UTC

Mio A501 GPS PDA Phone

The Mio A501 is a fantastic looking PDA Phone from Mio. At the time of writing there were two working models in the country (Germany) and we were certainly privileged to get special use of the device. The device is approximately 6cm x 12cm x 2cm and runs on Windows Mobile 5.0. It is a Quad-band GSM / GPRS phone with built-in SiRF Star III GPS technology with Bluetooth 2. (with A2DP), SD/MMC expansion slot and a 2.0 megapixel camera. More information should be available soon.

Mio's new A501 GPS PocketPC Phone

Article by maft on Sunday, March 18 @ 08:48:53 UTC

New Mio Digiwalker Units on Show

The bright orange Mio stand is hard to miss. Sorry, let me rephrase that, the bright orange Mio stand with the Segway is hard to miss!

The new x20 range of units, whilst nothing special to look at, are actually very nice units using the very versatile, and easy to use, iGo software. Each new unit features a 4.3inch widescreen (able to use the ‘split-screen view’), pre-installed speed camera locations, SiRF Star III GPS technology, and are only 2cm thick.

The C220 is the ‘basic’ model including only a single map region whereas the other models (C320, C520, C520T) have full European Maps pre-installed. The C520 and C520T, as well as the basic features, also include Bluetooth (for hands free calling) and an MP3 player. The C520T differs by offering traffic information (TMC) with the receiver being built into the mount. The TMC Mount is available as an optional extra for the C320 and C520.

The x20 units will be available from April.

Article by maft on Sunday, March 18 @ 08:47:55 UTC

I-GO Steals the Show

Anyone thinking that innovation in GPS was dead need only pay I-GO a visit in Hall 11. Their impressive stand (last Year was their launch year) immediately caught the eye with the demonstrations of 3d buildings and texture mapped digital elevation data that will be available when version 8 is released later this year.

The early beta demos we saw looked great with hills and valleys represented and texture mapped building data in some cities. The interface was intuitive and many features can be adjusted and re-configured, sure to please those who like to tweak!

Keep an eye out for UK launch very soon, this looks likely to be a huge hit.

iGO 3D navigation
iGO 3D navigation

PocketGPSWorld meet the iGO guys
PocketGPSWorld meet the iGO guys

3D icons on iGO 8
3D icons on iGO 8

Hello Kitty skins on iGO 8
Hello Kitty skins on iGO 8

Nicole has iGO on the latest Mio hardware
Nicole has iGO on the latest Mio hardware

Mike and Corina have done a speedo deal to get an early iGO 8 review copy.  Watch this space...
Mike and Corina have done a speedo deal to get an early iGO 8 review copy. Watch this space...

iGO Team
The iGO Team reading our blog!

Article by Darren Griffin on Saturday, March 17 @ 09:58:15 UTC

u-Blox present next generation GPS chipset

u-Blox are showing their 5th generation GPS chipset. If you know what 50 channels, 1 million correlators, and assisted cold fix of 1 second mean you may now remove the drool from your mouth. For all others - this chipset is much smaller than the existing ones, uses fewer components, needs less power, and is so sensitive that you wil always have a reiable fix outside, and in the majority of in-building locations (provided you are in a room with a least one window).

The u-Blox 5 chipset is already able to use the Galileo signals. It can even work in mixed mode, using GPS sats and Galileo sats at the same time. Now all we need is some more Galileo birds...

More here

Article by Lutz Bendlin on Saturday, March 17 @ 09:56:48 UTC

TomTom are working on a new enhanced traffic service

TomTom are to introduce an innovative new traffic monitoring system this summer. Using anonymous data from people making calls on their mobile phones then analyzing where they are moving and how fast they are moving the traffic server can determine the flow rates of vehicles on the roads. This can be overlaid with traffic information from other providers such as ITIS, the Highways Agency, or Floating Car data and provide the consolidated information to TomTom users.

This service will, of course, be a premium service and not be part of TomTom plus. TomTom did not divulge the proposed name or cost of the enhanced traffic data.

Article by mike barrett on Saturday, March 17 @ 09:49:53 UTC

Elan Announce New 7-inch Navigator & Media Player

UK Company Elan showed us a ‘work-in-progress’ model of a feature packed media playing navigator. The device, currently known only as “EMM-001” is WinCE based and it is hoped that it will use the iGo software. GPS is powered by a SiRF Star chipset and flip up antenna. The feature set is impressive and can playback MP3, WMA and AAC music files as well as MPEG, DIVX, WMV and WVID video files. The unit sports an 800x480 WVGA touchscreen and also includes a built-in FM Transmitter. The connections are numerous; two 3.5mm AV inputs, USB input, SD Card slot, Compact Flash slot, headphone socket and, if that wasn’t enough, it can also act as a USB host. As well as the multimedia and navigation the EMM-001 will have various other features such as calendar, calculator and a ‘car maintenance’ feature (keep a track of when services etc are due).

The device is still in the development stage but the early reports look like it will be a very well made all-in-one car entertainment and navigation unit.


Article by maft on Saturday, March 17 @ 09:47:12 UTC

Route 66 Chicago Series PNDs

Route 66 have, for some time, been providing navigation software for PDA’s etc but have just released their first all-in-one unit, the Chicago. Named after the first city on the famous road, the Chicago is being advertised as ‘the slimmest widescreen navigator’. The units measure 132mm x 91mm x 22mm and boast a 4.3inch widescreen. The four variants that are available vary only in map coverage and TMC function.

The common specifications are: 400Mhz CPU, 64MB RAM, 64MB ROM, 4.3inch widescreen (480 x 272 pixels), 65K colours, SiRF Star III GPS receiver, MP3 player, internal speaker, SD/MMC card slot, USB1.1, WinCE 5.0. In addition to this two of the models (7000 / 9000 Pro) have inbuilt TMC and it is an optional extra for the other two (6000 / 8000 Pro).

Map coverage is UK & Ireland in both the 6000 and 7000 Pro and Western and Easter European in the 8000 and 9000 Pro. All units come with ‘free safety cameras’.

Route 66
The New Chicago 6000

Article by mike barrett on Friday, March 16 @ 14:46:20 UTC

Wow day one is over! (The fun pictures)

Day One of CeBIT 2007 is over!!!

It is time to relax. Now we have the most difficult decision of the day to make, we have been invited to a number of parties, but what do we do? Simple avoid decision making and go to all of them...

First of all we start at the Via Michelin stand where in true French fashion the champagne is chilled to the correct temperature. The guys from Via Michelin are off to the Bierkeller so we move on to the Teleatlas party where a very strange sight is encountered: Bruce Swan, of Navman, in a suit, without sunglasses. That was soon remedied and we have the pictures to prove it.

Whilst on the subject of Navman I also saw Martin Capel Smith (Navman) and Paul Notteboom (Mio) in discussions with Laurent de Hauwre (Teleatlas). From what I understand from the "official" statements from Navman the new Mitac deal will be ironed out in the very near future. In the mean time the Navman stand was massive but minimalistic.

But back to the party... The entertainment for the evening was provided by two talented young DJs who turned out to be the sons of Alain De Taeye (CEO and co-founder of Teleatlas).

A short while later a disaster struck... The beer ran out on the Teleatlas stand. Actually this wasnt really a problem as the next party was in the aisle behind Teleatlas stand on the Navteq stand :D. Here I nearly met with a an even worse disaster: I was refused beer because I didnt have a blue Navteq wristband. Not too much of a problem, I located the David Assoline Navteq's European marketing director who sorted us out.

We then moved between the Navteq party, the Teleatlas party and a private party on the Nemesis/Elan stand, until about 22:00 when we started to feel a little hungry so headed out to Jade See the Chinese restaurant near our guesthouse. Here we met with Harold Richter of HR, and we chatted away over a few drinks and a filling meal. At about 12:30 we called it a day and retired. Lutz had just got in in the afternoon and hadn't checked in yet so he crashed in my spare room overnight.

As some of you will know I gave up drinking nearly 2 years ago. This morning I realised one of the reasons why... I am writing this with a hangover, desperately trying to remember the meetings, we set up last night during the festivities.

On to the serious stuff (at last) the products...

Well the highlight of the day for me was the Mio stand... They have spent tens of thousands on market research and have developed a new all-in-one SatNav for the slightly older generation who have trouble with vision and digital dexterity... Unfortunately it is not likely to be a big success as it is too big to fit into a car. It also has a slight problem in that it shuts down when asked to route from Hannover to Bradford :D. That aside Maft and I also had our first experiences on a Segway. Did Mio show any SatNav systems?? They did have a pda on the Segway.

Apart from that in terms of products there were a few announcements, but my thoughts are that these are more evolutionary than revolutionary. I think we have been spoilt by the massive leaps of the past few years and we are starting to see a slow down in the development of SatNav.

For me the most impressive items on display (mainly for uniqueness) were the GlobalTop with the Heads Up Display on the windscreen, and the demonstration of 3D mapping on the Navteq stand. Using a Phillips 3D monitor, Lutz explained the technical implementation, I just gawped at the stunning way the graphics jumped out of the screen at me. I have been told to expect some more stunning visual delights when we visit the iGO stand today. Plus we have still to visit most of the exhibition...

Enjoying French hospitality
Enjoying French hospitality

Lutz needs another hand...
Lutz needs another hand...

Who is that...  It
Who is that... It's Bruce and David from Navman and they are serious!!!

Now thats better lads
Now thats better lads

The Teleatlas party disco
The Teleatlas party disco

When the beer ran out we went to the Navteq party
When the beer ran out we went to the Navteq party

When the beer ran out we went to the Navteq party
When the beer ran out we went to the Navteq party

Miniturising SatNav didnt work...
Miniturising SatNav didnt work...

Maft ignores the speed limit
Maft ignores the speed limit

Mike swaps walking for the segway
Mike swaps walking for the segway

Article by mike barrett on Friday, March 16 @ 14:35:05 UTC

GlobalTop Technology HG100 Bluetooth GPS Receiver with HUD

GlobalTop Technology HG100 Bluetooth GPS Receiver with HUD

In a world full of navigation aids and gps receivers made by everyman and his dog you really need something different to stand out from the crowd. Taiwanese company, GlobalTop (www.gtop-tech.com), have one such device. The HG100 is a Bluetooth GPS receiver which utilises a head-up display (HUD). In use you need to have a polarising filter on your windscreen (roughly 15cm x 15cm) and your current speed and direction are projected onto the windscreen. Without the polarising screen the image is doubled-up and blurred. The HG100 also includes a user-definable speed warning.

For GPS reception the HG100 utilises an MTK chipset and has 32 channels and the unit uses the Bluetooth 2 protocol. Obviously we can’t comment on how well the receiver works in use but the HUD is definitely unique and makes this receiver stand out from the crowd.

Drivers Eye View

GlobalTop HUD GPS
GPS unit showing built-in display

GlobalTop HUD GPS
Box Shot

Article by mike barrett on Friday, March 16 @ 14:25:38 UTC

Via Michelin announce two new PNDs

Two new ViaMichelin navigation devices have been announced, the X960 and X970T. Both come equipped with SiRF Star III chipset and new navigation software. The new software boasts the simultaneous display of the current rote alongside a zoom view of the next junction as well as new guidance modes for bicycles and pedestrians. Both devices are available with either UK & Ireland or European mapping and can make use of a new online service called ViaMichelin Advantage (an online hub for downloading content such as maps, advanced rout planning (personally colour-coded), themed POIs and new route information).

The X960, weighing just 136g, is compact, rounded and “an ideal GPS device for even the greatest technophobe”. It retails at £159 for the UK & Ireland version and £199 for the European version.

The X970T offers the more advanced functions like Bluetooth handsfree calling, fully integrated in the software – touch the screen to answer a call. The mount includes a built in speaker for amplifying the devices output and all leads are plugged into the base (TMC (provided by ITIS), power) allowing fast removal from the vehicle. The TMC is worthy of it’s own special mention as this unique design removes the need for trailing wires around the windscreen; Click here for more... The X970T retails at £239 for the UK & Ireland version and £279 for European.

The new Via Michelin X970T
The new Via Michelin X970T

The new Via Michelin X970T
The new Via Michelin X970T

The new Via Michelin X970T
The new Via Michelin X970T

Bibendum, the Michelin Man

Article by Maft on Thursday, March 15 @ 15:44:58 UTC

ViaMichelin TMC

With the poor reception of TMC equipped systems being a hot topic for UK users I though a quick mention of ViaMichelin`s new TMC antenna might be be interesting.

Instead of those horrible wire antennas ViaMichelin are introducing a new smaller and more importantly more efficient design antenna. This connects to the dock rather than the device itself. Hopefully this will mean better results, time will tell!

ViaMichelin TMC
New TMC Antenna Design

Article by Darren Griffin on Thursday, March 15 @ 15:16:37 UTC

Garmin announce entry level Nuvi 200 series

We have known about the Garmin Nuvi range for a few weeks now, but have promised not to reveal anything until they were officially announced at CeBIT today. Interestingly Mike was walking through Hall 11 (the GPS hall) last night and came across an old friend. Stopped to say hello he noticed someone with a strange Garmin in their hands. Darren had already gone on to see some other friends but Mike could not resist the chance to sneak a couple of pictures. After gently persuading the owner of the Garmin to part with it for a few seconds we took some pictures that Mike promised not to release until 1pm today.

New Entry Level Garmin Products Announced at CeBIT
Nuvi 2xx Series
The new nuvi 2xx range, announced today by Garmin, has been primarily aimed at those who are new to PNDs (personal navigation devices). According to Garmin’s sources only 15% of drivers use such devices leaving an 85% potential market. The new range of nuvi, without the flip-up antenna, is said to be the smallest and lightest PND with a 3.5inch screen. Functionality is simplified with a main menu consisting of ‘Where To’ and ‘View Map’ (as well as settings) and each page includes an embedded help page. Extra features include picture viewer, world time and currency converter.

Each variant features an SD card slot, internal antenna, Garmin Lock theft prevention, Li-Ion battery (4 hours life), touch screen, pre-loaded Garmin speed camera alerts and pre-installed maps depending on the model: Nuvi 200 Regional Maps (e.g. UK & Ireland), 250 (European) and 270 (European and North American).

Garmin were cagey when questioned about which chipsets were used for the 2xx series but considering that those sporting the SiRF chipsets are clearly labelled, it is safe to say that these entry level devices do not use SiRF.

The nuvi 200, 250 and 270 have SRP’s of €249 (£169), €299 (£199.99) and €449 (£269.99) respectively and are available from the end of this month.

Zumo 400
The new zumo 400 was also being shown but without a press release. This the new ‘entry level’ PND specifically for motorbikes. Featuring a SiRF Star III GPS receiver, pre-loaded regional mapping, fully waterproof, built-in mp3 player, picture viewer and the ability to export and review your travels in Google Earth. The zumo interface has been specifically designed to be ‘glove-friendly’ and includes a motorcycle mount.

The full Garmin Nuvi 200 series press release follows:

Garmin Introduces brand new satellite navigation series at CeBIT

Garmin has today announced a new family of entry level satellite navigation units with a brand new elegant design. The nüvi 200, nüvi 250 and nüvi 270 are on show for the first time at CeBIT, Europe’s premier electronics trade show in Hannover, Germany, March 15-21, 2007 (Garmin Stand: B29, Hall 11). The brand new series offers cost conscious consumers the benefits of a premium system at a fraction of the price.They come with regional, European or International mapping which includes Europe and North America.

“The nüvi 200 series continues Garmin’s evolution of the personal navigation device (PND) with these highly portable units” says Garmin’s European Product Director, Clive Taylor. “They are great satellite navigation systems for those who want value for money without compromising on style or quality. All models are exceptionally easy to use and work straight out of the box. They are small enough to put in a pocket or handbag so you can take them anywhere – and even use them to find your way walking around town. The nüvi 200 series is ideal for a first time buyer or user of satellite navigation who wants a reliable, stylish product at a good price.”

The ultra-slim nüvi 200 series makes using a GPS device easy for anyone. The nüvi’s new design incorporates an internal GPS antenna that makes it thinner and even simpler to mount in a car, transfer between vehicles and take out and use on the street. The intuitive “where to?” and “view map” welcome screen, allows users to quickly find a specific street address or establishment’s name, or search for a destination by category. Turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions then guide the driver to their destination. If they miss a turn along the route, the nüvi automatically recalculates a route and gets them back on track.

Those familiar with the “travel kit” feature available on premium nüvis will appreciate the nüvi 200 series’ built-in picture viewer, calculator, currency converter, unit converter and world clock. Optional packages such as the language and travel guides offer bilingual dictionaries and restaurant reviews. For additional security, Garmin has included the Garmin Lock, an innovative theft prevention system that disables the unit from performing any functions until the user takes the unit to a personally selected location or types in a specific 4-digit code. Customers can also augment the preloaded maps with custom points of interest (POI’s). The European versions of the nüvi 200 series come preloaded with safety camera information for selected countries.

About the size of a deck of cards, the nüvi’s focal point is its bright 3.5-inch (diagonal) touchscreen. The unit’s only button is an on/off slider bar, which may be locked in either position to avoid being turned on or off accidentally. The nüvi also has a convenient SD card slot for expandable memory and to add additional features.

The nüvi 200, nüvi 250 and nüvi 270 are expected to be available in May 2007 at a suggested retail price of €249, €299 and €449 / £169.00, £199.99 and £269.99 respectively.

Apart from the European versions, Garmin will also offer the nüvi 200-series products with regional specific coverage for the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and Brazil. The nüvi 270 contains international mapping which includes more than 30 European countries, North America, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The regional coverage for Europe includes UK/Ireland, Nordics, Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg, France, Italy/Greece, Spain/Portugal, and Germany/Switzerland/Austria/Czech Republic.

The nüvi 200, nüvi 250 and nüvi 270 include a vehicle suction cup mount, vehicle power cable, dashboard disk, and owner’s reference manual.

Additional information is available at www.Garmin.com.

This looks like a new Garmin
This looks like a new Garmin

The new Garmin Nuvi 200 series
The new Garmin Nuvi 200 series

The new Garmin Nuvi 200 series
The new Garmin Nuvi 200 series

The new Garmin Nuvi 200 series
The new Garmin Nuvi 200 series

The new Garmin Zumo 400
The new Garmin Zumo 400

The new Garmin Zumo 400
The new Garmin Zumo 400

The new Garmin Zumo 400
The new Garmin Zumo 400

Article by Maft on Thursday, March 15 @ 15:14:04 UTC

Garmin announce top of the range Nuvi 600 series with wide screens

Garmin announced some modifications to their top of the range Nuvi 600 series.

The 660FM includes a FM transmitter to allow the SatNav to provide all audio output through the car stereo via an unused FM channel that can be configured in the setup. All of the devices feature a 4.3 inch wide screen.

The main differences between the units are as follows:
Nuvi 600 : Regional mapping
Nuvi 650 : Europe mapping
Nuvi 660FM : Europe plus FM transmitter
Nuvi 670 : Europe, North America and FM transmitter

The full Garmin Nuvi 600 series press release follows:

New Garmin widescreen navigators launched at CeBIT

A new range of widescreen navigators has been launched by Garmin at CeBIT today. The nüvi 600, nüvi 650 and nüvi 660FM offer exceptional navigation capabilities on a large 4.3 inch screen for even better visibility.

The nüvi 660FM comes with an integrated FM transmitter* to enable the user to listen to directions and Bluetooth phone calls through an existing car stereo speaker system, as well as play MP3’s. The nüvi’s entertainment audio is muted when navigation instructions are given. It also comes with an integrated traffic receiver that makes it possible to avoid traffic congestion and Bluetooth Wireless Technology capability that allows hands-free mobile phone calls.

The nüvi 600 and nüvi 650 are also new additions. Both have a wide touchscreen display that makes it easier than ever to receive turn-by-turn voice prompted directions. The nüvi 600 is only available in Europe and has preloaded maps of various regions throughout Europe.

The nüvi 650 is available in North America and Europe and has preloaded mapping of over 30 countries in Europe or North America (United States, Canada and Puerto Rico). The nüvi 650 does not include Bluetooth Wireless Technology or FM transmitter. An integrated traffic receiver is available as an optional accessory for both the nüvi 600 and nüvi 650.

All models in the nüvi 600 series are slim enough to carry with you wherever you go, making them indispensable travel tools. The “plug and drive” capability means you can get in the car and go straight away or remove the unit easily from a vehicle to use in pedestrian mode. Optional packages such as the Garmin Travel Guide and Garmin Language Guide are available on SD card and provide users helpful and thorough information such as restaurant and hotel reviews and recommendations, as well as audible language translation into five different languages.

The nüvi 600’s regional coverage includes UK/Ireland, Nordics, France, Italy/Greece, Belgium/Netherlands/Luxembourg, Spain/Portugal, Alps, and Germany/Switzerland/Austria/Czech Republic. All map data is provided by NAVTEQ™ – a world leader in premium-quality mapping. The nüvi 650 is available in North America and Europe.

The 660FM will be priced at €599/ £399. The nüvi 600 has a suggested retail price of €399/£269; the nüvi 650 is €499.

Additional information is available at www.Garmin.com.

Visit the Garmin Stand, number B29, Hall 11

*Use of FM transmitters is currently not permitted in certain European countries due to specific radio frequency restrictions. You must check the local regulations in the country in which you intend to use the FM transmitter to ensure its use is permitted in that country.

Article by mike barrett on Thursday, March 15 @ 14:56:03 UTC

Garmin Partner with Motor Manufacturers for OEM Solutions

Garmin today revealed they are further branching out into the OEM market (first seen with BMW branded StreetPilot`s) with a number of alliances including Mini, Honda and Mercedes to name a few. Garmin see this as an important market area and have invested in staffing and infrastructure to support the new business.

The OEM solutions involve manufacturer branded GPS Systems with for example in the case of the mini a custom mount and mini shaped vehicile icon comlete with checkered roof!

Garmin has also partnered with Honda to produce a branded Zumo for their motorcycles with remote buttons that operate the device mounted on the handlebars.

The Mini version of the Nuvi
The Mini version of the Nuvi

The Mini version of the Nuvi
The Mini version of the Nuvi

The Mini version of the Nuvi
The Mini version of the Nuvi

The Garmin Mercedes
The Garmin Mercedes

Article by Darren Griffin on Thursday, March 15 @ 14:36:31 UTC

Magellan launch the Maestro Range of SatNavs in Europe

Today Magellan announced the Maestro 4000 range with "Crossover" navigation systems. These incorporate street navigation with topographical GPS plotting.

We first saw one of these systems at CES in Las Vegas with the Lowrence xxx, and more recently Memory-Map and Road Angel have announced the RA7000 which has both the Road Angel street navigation, and the Memory-Map Topographical (and Marine chart) mapping capabilities. Now Magellan announce 3 new devices which will be available from mid may this year.

Talking to Magellan today revealed that all of their new PNDs will feature the Crossover mapping allowing both traditional Street routing and Topographical mapping, though only the Magellan Crossover is actually waterproof. The devices also come pre-installed with the PocketGPSWorld.com Speed Camera Database.

The full Magellan press release follows:

Magellan® Maestro™ Car Navigation Line Offers Portable GPS with Bluetooth; CrossoverGPS technology upgrade option, and voice command and traffic ready

New Design and Easy User Interface Provide Industry’s Best Portable Navigation Experience

Hannover, CeBIT, C12, Hall 11 – March 15, 2007 – Magellan, creators of the Hertz® NeverLost® and a leading global innovator of outdoor and vehicle navigation solutions, announced today the introduction of Maestro in Europe. Maestro is a family of three new portable vehicle navigation devices, which offer best design and navigation experience to the driver. Available mid-May, the new Maestro series introduce a newly designed user interface with a 4.3” WQVGA touch screen, Bluetooth hands-free calling capabilities and real-time traffic services. The Maestro 4050 is the first portable vehicle navigation device to be voice command enable. Maestro also lets users enjoy more content such as the Marco Polo travel information which includes sight seeing locations with detailed content, descriptions and photos, or upgrade to the CrossoverGPS™ technology.

Maestro is Magellan’s latest generation of turn-by-turn, voice-prompted portable vehicle navigation devices, newly designed inside and out to usher in a thin, sleek style with a 4.3” WQVGA full-colour, anti-glare touch screen plus refined functionality that’s destined to set a new standard. The Maestro 4010, Maestro 4040 and Maestro 4050 offer the most simplified, intuitive user interface designed to minimise key strokes. The clutter-free menu and map screens feature stylish icons and map graphics that are clear, crisp and easy for drivers to see in all lighting, with Menu icons that are prioritised so drivers have faster access to the features they use most.

“The Magellan Maestro devices are more than reliable tools for drivers, they are the portable car navigation solutions that drivers really want,” said Christian Bubenheim, vice president of product marketing for Magellan. “We’re building on superior utility with a new design and appeal that extends to broader markets. The Maestro series is fast, easy to use and intuitive. Maestro has a flexible platform that allows users to add extra content such as the CrossoverGPS technology so that they can rely on a single device to navigate whether on the road, in the great outdoors or on the water.”

Maestro 4050 –Real-Time Traffic, Bluetooth, Voice- Command Enable, Text-to-Speech and CrossoverGPS Upgrade Option
Available at 449 Euros, the Maestro 4050 provides real-time traffic alerts, Bluetooth hands-free phone calling capabilities and advanced voiced routing directions via Magellan’s SayWhere™ text-to-speech function, which audibly announces the street names for upcoming manoeuvres.

The Maestro 4050 includes a life time subscription for real-time premium traffic services with the Magellan TrafficKit™, the first completely integrated, portable real-time traffic solution with a no-fuss, wire-free design. The receiver attaches at a cradle with a simple click to help drivers avoid traffic delays with incident alerts and rerouting.

Preloaded with full coverage maps of Europe from NAVTEQ, the Maestro 4050 also contains the Marco Polo sight seeing information plus a database of one million additional points of interest (POI) like ATMs, petrol stations and more. The Maestro 4050’s Bluetooth capabilities make it possible for drivers to be connected to a business with a hands-free phone call once a POI is selected.

The Maestro 4050 is voice command ready. Drivers will enjoy the latest advances in voice recognition capabilities to control the device and route to their destination using voice commands.

Maestro 4040 – Combines Bluetooth Hands-Free Calling, Text-to Speech and Upgrade Options
Available at 349 Euros, the Magellan Maestro 4040 features Bluetooth hands-free phone calling functionality with advanced SayWhere™ text-to-speech voiced routing directions. The Maestro 4040 is also preloaded with full European maps from NAVTEQ, Marco Polo sight seeing points of interest plus an additional 1 million POI. Upgrade options will allow drivers to add real-time traffic services capabilities and CrossoverGPS kit for additional fees when available.

Maestro 4010 – Bluetooth, Regional European Coverage and Upgrade Options
Available at 299 Euros, the Maestro 4010 provides Bluetooth functionality, turn-by-turn directions with preloaded. maps of different European regions from NAVTEQ. Users will have the option to easily unlock more European regions for a small fee, as they go along. Marco Polo sight seeing information and thousands more point of interest. The Maestro 4010 is also upgradeable to the CrossoverGPS kit and to the real-time traffic service capabilities.

Marco Polo sight seeing points of interest available in the Maestro product line
Sightseeing, points of interest from Marco Polo are available in all Maestro product line. The full Marco Polo travel guide information can be completed on the Magellan portal. Anybody travelling with the new mobile navigation device Maestro from Magellan can access the well researched, up-to-date travel guide information from Marco Polo at any time and in any place. The Marco Polo travel guide allows drivers to rediscover Europe and its major cities: explore the culture and cuisine, enjoy shopping and night life, play sport or just relax. In addition to the famous insider’s tips and highlights from the Marco Polo printed travel guide, travellers will also find many other categories and topics covering the all of Europe. Marco Polo’s tips and Magellan Maestro take you to the places not everyone else knows about! The Marco Polo travel guide can be purchased through www.magellangps.com.

Outdoor Navigation with the CrossoverGPS Kit:
The newly designed Magellan Maestro product line is fully upgradeable to take advantage of the Crossover technology which adds outdoor navigation capabilities for hiking, off-road excursions with compatible topographic and marine software applications via optional SD memory cards. The outdoor navigation functionality can be obtained with the CrossoverGPS kit. It provides guidance using GPS coordinates for geographical locations, such as the latitude and longitude of a starting point and a desired destination. Other convenient features, like the compass screen and the ability to save a base camp location, make the Magellan Maestro series easy to use even for novice navigators.

All new Maestro 4000 series models feature:
• SiRF Star III GPS chips for fast position fix and reliable satellite acquisition
• Integrated antenna and battery for added portability and cord-free operation in or away from the car
• QuickSpell for fast data entry by reducing keystrokes as it checks spelling
• Searchable points of interest (POI) database for finding and routing to businesses and services like petrol stations, ATMs, hotels, restaurants, airports and more. Listings include a phone number, address and the travel distance.
• Exit POIs conveniently list petrol stations, lodging and restaurants at exits so drivers can plan stops in advance.
• Trip Planning provides multi-destination routing when drivers need to make several stops – up to 20 destinations
• CrossoverGPS kit upgradeable
• Speed traps preloaded

Each of the new Maestro products ship with a windscreen mount and cradle, a cigarette lighter adapter, protective pouch, USB data cable and an adhesive disk for dash mounting. For additional accessories, including cases, pouches, additional mounting options, visit www.magellanGPS.com.

The Magellan Maestro SatNav
The Magellan Maestro SatNav

The Magellan Maestro SatNav
The Magellan Maestro SatNav

The Magellan Maestro SatNav security mount
The Magellan Maestro SatNav security mount

Article by mike barrett on Thursday, March 15 @ 14:26:54 UTC

TomTom announce the GO 715, but for business users only

CeBIT 2007 Day 1 9:00am The news released from TomTom is that there is nothing for the consumer market, and just a single device the TomTom GO 715 for the business market. In fact TomTom's stand here is a fraction of the size it was last year and the main focus is on TomTom work.

Darren and I managed to get a sneak peek at the new GO 715 yesterday. Whilst Darren ran a distraction maneuver I crept in to take a few pictures. A startled TomTom employee came rushing across the stand and tried to physically remove the new device from my hands, but it was too late the pictures had been taken already... At that point one of the TomTom guys who knows us well stepped in and said it was OK and he trusted us not to release the pictures early :D

So what is new with the GO 715? Well it has two slots underneath, one for the SD with the maps on and one for a SIM card. The SIM card means that the GO 715 can connect directly to the internet and TomTom servers via GPRS. There are some nice design changes to give the SatNav a more sleek look. A new screen showing network status is available, and looking at the about screen the software has moved on a bit to version 6.570, but the map version remains the same as the latest on the GO 910.

There was also a new mount on display with the well known four prong fitting of Herbert Richter connectors. This allows the GO to be permanently mounted away from the windscreen and in a secure location within the vehicle. Note that this will not be a consumer mount as there is a special interface cable for the TomTom Work Black Box. Darren and I looked at the mount thinking that possibly just the HR mount would fit existing GO x10 mounts, but it looks like the ball is somewhat larger than the current systems :(. TomTom please note that there are lots of us out here wanting an alternate mounting solution for our devices.

Once again to emphasize the new GO 715 and mount are specifically for TomTom Work and the business community. They will not be available in the shops for consumers.

I assume (quite reasonably) that TomTom are working on upgrades to the current consumer products and they will be announced at a later date. Hopefully the fact that the GO x10 range has not been replaced yet means that our current devices are getting more mature and we are starting to see a slight extension in the lifecycle of the devices.

The full TomTom press release follows:

TomTom Introduces the World’s First Truly Connected Navigation Device with Built-in SIM Card for Commercial Vehicles

• The TomTom GO 715 redefines the professional users’ daily travel experience

• Effortless combination of Navigation, Two-Way Data Communication and Traffic Information

Amsterdam, 15 March 2007 – TomTom, the world’s largest portable navigation solution provider, today reveals it is extending its TomTom WORK product portfolio with the new TomTom GO 715: the world’s first portable navigation device with an integrated GPRS modem and SIM card.

From April 2007, the TomTom GO 715 will be available with TomTom WEBFLEET - a web based vehicle location tool, as part of the new TomTom WORK COMPACT solution for owners of commercial vehicles.*

The new TomTom GO 715 features TomTom’s award winning software, precise door-to-door navigation across Europe and a built-in GPRS modem and SIM card for out-of-the box connected navigation services. The built-in GPRS modem and SIM card of the TomTom GO 715 ensure that users can send messages and location information between vehicles on the road and the TomTom WEBFLEET application more easily than ever before. Additionally, drivers have continuous and ultra-fast access to TomTom’s most up-to-date traffic information. Fast and accurate traffic information is of particular importance for TomTom WORK users.

“This is a world’s first and presents a major step for TomTom towards making connected navigation services a reality for a much wider audience of companies and their drivers,” says Harold Goddijn, chief executive officer. “TomTom WORK COMPACT is a fully integrated, plug & GO solution that does not require any specialist installation, dramatically reducing the total cost for connected services.”

TomTom WORK Product portfolio
TomTom WORK is TomTom’s product and services solution and offers integrated navigation, tracking, tracing and two-way data communication for owners of fleets of all sizes. The TomTom WEBFLEET application comes preloaded with easy reporting software ready for immediate use. The extended TomTom WORK portfolio gives owners of commercial vehicles more choice than ever in choosing what is right for their business.

TomTom GO 715 comes complete with the same easy-to-use navigation software, best routes, 3D map view and spoken instructions as the TomTom GO range. Additionally, the TomTom GO 715 has hands-free functionality via Bluetooth-enabled phones and comes pre-installed with the most up-to-date door to door map of Western Europe stored on the memory card.

TomTom WORK COMPACT, from 1.80 Euro per day**:
• TomTom WEBFLEET: a web based tracking and tracing service that monitors and guides vehicles and staff, as well as managing and planning business;
• TomTom GO 715: new portable navigation device with integrated GPRS modem and built-in SIM card for door-to-door navigation across Europe and optimised communication between vehicles and the TomTom WEBFLEET system;
• Basic reports such as trip reports, message reports, working times, event report and order reports.

TomTom WORK ACTIVE, from 2 Euro per day*:
• TomTom LINK: a compact unit fixed in each vehicle, enabling businesses to track and trace vehicles at all times and send messages and location information between vehicles and the online TomTom WEBFLEET service centre via GPS/GPRS;
• TomTom WEBFLEET: a web based tracking and tracing service that monitors and guides vehicles and staff, as well as managing and planning business;
• TomTom GO: TomTom’s award winning portable navigation range with extensive door-to-door navigation across the USA, Europe or ;
• Constant real-time localization and enhanced tracking and tracing of vehicles on the road;
• Extensive data exchange on vehicle status and use;
• Extensive reporting including different types of trip reports, message reports, working hours’ report and usage times

- END –

* TomTom GO 715 will only be available as part of TomTom WORK COMPACT. Initial
availability of TomTom WORK COMPACT will be in Germany, Austria, the
Netherlands, Belgium and the United Kingdom.

**Price is based on a usage period of 36 months and excludes VAT. For more
detailed price information, please speak with a TomTom WORK representative.

The New TomTom GO 715
The New TomTom GO 715

The New TomTom GO 715
The New TomTom GO 715

GO 715 network screen
GO 715 network screen

GO 715 top
GO 715 top

GO 715 new mount
GO 715 new mount

GO 715 new mount
GO 715 new mount

GO 715 new mount
GO 715 new mount

Article by mike barrett on Thursday, March 15 @ 09:00:00 UTC

The PocketGPSWorld.com Team arrive in Hannover

Darren and I arrived in Hannover yesterday afternoon and immediately hot-footed it over to the Messe Fair grounds and the press centre. We spent an hour or so hunting through the show guide trying to work out who we wanted to see and when to see them.

Last year when we were exhibiting we learnt that often the companies would have their new systems out on the stands prior to the official opening of the tradefair, and if we were sneaky enough we cold get a glimpse of them and possibly take some pictures. We were quite successful and after fending off some of the stand staff we came away wit a few hastily grabbed photos. However, respecting the embargoes of the various companies involved, we will not post any images until they have been officially announced. Sorry about that :D just keep tuned and all will be revealed throughout the day.

Once again the exhibition halls looked like a building site, which indeed it was. The amazing thing is that the stands which are barely constructed will be all clean and polished by the time that the show opens at 9:00am CET.

Maft had a late flight and our lodgings were freezing so we trundled off to the local Chinese restaurant where we spent the best part of four hours eating and chatting. By the time Maft arrived the heating had started working and we were ready for a good sleep before the big day. Lutz is currently on his way and will arrive early afternoon.

In the mean time while we are waiting for the fair to get under way Maft, Darren and myself are doing a bit of research in the press room to find out where we want to go today and who we want to see. Hundreds of exhibitors... Which one first. Maybe we should be sorting out the best after show parties to attend. We have already had a few offers :D

CeBIT 2007 The Messe
CeBIT 2007 The Messe

CeBIT 2007 The GPS Hall is a building site
CeBIT 2007 The GPS Hall is a building site

Article by mike barrett on Thursday, March 15 @ 08:35:16 UTC

Taiwanese company GlobalTop Inc announce a GPS HUD Speed Meter

What is a HUD? It is a Heads Up Display, similar to those used in fighter jets. This displays data on the windscreen in front of you so you dont need to take your eyes off the road to read information.

The GlobalTop GPS HUD Speed Meter is a Bluetooth GPS receiver with a display showing you your speed and direction. There is als o user configurable speed warning feature as well.

I can see that either we will have to request a number of review samples, or blood will flow in the battle to review this GPS receiver.

The full GlobalTop press release:

GPS HUD Speed meter with Bluetooth for Navigation

After the Solar Powered Bluetooth GPS receiver, this year GlobalTop Technology Inc. is pleased to announce the latest 2007 innovation GPS product which is “GPS HUD (Head-Up Display) Speed Meter” which can display your car speed by receiving GPS satellite signal, and with the integration Bluetooth, it also can used to be connected with Smartphone and PDA for navigation.

GlobalTop Technology is belonging to ftech group which is focus on GPS system and dedicated on developing innovation GPS products for many years.

HUD is the high tech function which is used at aero-industrial for decades, but at recently years, automobile industrial also start to adopt this technology at luxury cars in order to make a safety driving environment for drivers. With HUD, it can avoid driver look at speed meter on dashboard all the time and lose the attention of road information.

Today GlobalTop using its professional GPS knowledge to design HUD system with GPS, and make it more attractive, this device is not only using HUD technology to display speed and direction on windshield, it can also be used for navigation. Users are able to connect this HUD GPS unit with their Smartphone and PDA by Bluetooth easily.

The key features of GlobalTop GPS HUD Speed meter:
? HUD (Head-Up Display) for display speed and direction.
? Speed warning function which can be setup by user.
? Receiving 32channels all-in-view GPS satellites for high accuracy speed and position information.
? Integration Bluetooth to connect Smartphone or PDA for navigation.

Please refer GlobalTop website http://www.gtop-tech.com for more detail information.

Bluetooth GPS HUD receiver
Bluetooth GPS HUD receiver

Article by mike barrett on Friday, March 09 @ 09:17:22 UTC

i-GO to present i-GO 2007, err, 8

i-GO were the surprise guest at last year's CeBIT. This year they will be watched closely when they present the all new i-GO 2007 software.

http://navngo.com/hu/cebit/index.php (hungarian)
http://www.navngo.com/en/cebit/index.php (english)

Article by Lutz Bendlin on Wednesday, March 07 @ 04:21:19 UTC

Navigon announce the 3100 series of SatNav systems

Navigon have jumped the gun and announced their latest SatNav all-in-one series the 31xx. There are 2 models in the series, which have either a single regional map or the full 37 country coverage of Europe.

Prices start at 249 Euros about £170.

The full Navigon press release:

NAVIGON 3100 series: Easy, Fast and Affordable

Affordable "little brother" of the TS 7000T offers all the benefits of NAVIGON performances in a compact device

Hamburg, February 7th 2007 - NAVIGON 3100 series is the latest addition to the NAVIGON product family from the international navigation system specialists. The "little brother" of NAVIGON's TS 7000T, the 3100 series is designed for first-time buyers, combining all the benefits of NAVIGON software in a compact device and at an affordable price. Available from only 249 euros and only 11 x 8 cm in size, it is an ideal travelling companion. The NAVIGON 3100 comes in region versions whereas the 3110 contains maps for 37 European countries. It is the only device in its price category to include NAVIGON's own Lane Assistant as standard feature - a unique assistant that enables drivers to find their way fast and easily through even the most confusing locations. As safety feature it also embeds a complete database of Speed Cameras.

Simplicity and speed are the keynotes of NAVIGON's products. In the latest model of the NAVIGON product family, maps are displayed in 2D or 3D view on a 3.5" touchscreen display. As a further highlight, NAVIGON software provides realistic street and signpost display, enabling drivers to find their way smoothly in road traffic. Route planning is child's play with practical special functions such as Dynamic Route Overview, delivering useful travel information such as the next two service stations, parking areas and filling stations, or the Optimum Route calculator to minimize fuel consumption. As an optional extra, the NAVIGON 3100 series also offers as a separate accessory a TMC module which automatically reroutes drivers around traffic jams and other obstacles. The system runs a real-time comparison of updated TMC data with the existing route, and recalculates the route if necessary.

Maps available for 37 European countries
The NAVIGON 3100 is available in region versions for selected countries while the 3110 integrates maps of 37 European countries, enabling drivers to navigate their way around Europe easily and conveniently. At national border crossings the system supplies practical information about the country being entered, such as local speed limits. In addition, over 14,500 fixed speed control points for many European countries are pre-installed. Useful Points of Interest such as restaurants, hotels, car parks, museums and shopping centers can be entered directly.

The new mobile NAVIGON device is so small and light that it fits anywhere, making it not only a perfect in-car navigation system but also - thanks to its integrated rechargeable battery - an ideal alternative to conventional maps, for drivers or even cyclists. A few touches, and the system's information is converted from car mode to cyclist or pedestrian mode.

NAVIGON 3100/3110: Overview
Affordable model
MobileNavigator 6 software
Lane Assistant
Maps for Europe or Region
Pre-installed Speed Camera database
3.5" touchscreen display
400 Mhz processor, integr. GPS
Optional TMC (traffic information)
Available from only 249 euros
From Spring 2007 in shops

Availability, Price and Warranty
NAVIGON 3110, priced at 329 euros including VAT (RRP) and NAVIGON 3100 with regional maps at 249 euros are available from April 2007 directly from www.navigon.co.uk and in media stores and electrical goods retailers. NAVIGON's latest models also carry a warranty of two years.

The New Navigon 3100
The New Navigon 3100

The New Navigon 3100
The New Navigon 3100

Article by mike barrett on Saturday, March 03 @ 18:09:32 UTC

Garmin to launch brand new satellite navigation series at CeBit

Not unsurprisingly Garmin are to launch a new range of SatNav devices at CeBIT. They tempt us with a pre-announcement (that says very little) and now we have to wait until 1pm on the opening day of CeBIT to get the real information.

The Garmin Press release :

Garmin to launch brand new satellite navigation series at CeBit
New automotive devices being debuted; the latest sat navs on display for first time in Europe.

Garmin is due to unveil a new series of PNDs (personal navigation devices) at Europe’s largest technology show, Cebit in Hannover, March 15-21 (Garmin Stand B29, Hall 11). The products are being launched at a press conference on March 15 at 13:00, in room 15/16 of the Conference Centre. With exciting new features, these stylish new units will continue the theme of easy-to-use, high-quality satellite navigation.

Garmin will also be showcasing some of its latest satellite navigation products for the first time. These include the nüvi 670 which is preloaded with European and US mapping and has an integrated FM transmitter for listening to directions and Bluetooth phone calls through your stereo speakers, as well as playing your favourite MP3’s. The nüvi 370 and z?mo 400 will also be on display.

Visitors to the Garmin stand will be able to see the full extent of Garmin’s product portfolio, which covers much more than the automotive series.

The newly launched Garmin Mobile range will be on display, with a variety of products for business users as well as consumers. Garmin Mobile 10 and Garmin Mobile 20 enable your mobile device to give voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions while showing a moving map.

An “off board” option is also available, giving network operators and service providers the opportunity to offer the most up-to-date mapping and real time information to enterprise customers. For fleet managers a new Garmin Fleet Management Interface opens the way for solutions providers to deliver a comprehensive interactive user environment to their fleet owner/operator customers.

The fitness and outdoors product range includes handhelds as well as wrist or bicycle mounted units. Garmin has a wide variety of GPS units suitable for all levels from beginners to experienced explorers. For cyclists or runners the Edge and Forerunner measure speed, distance and heart rate, and allow you to assess your performance as you improve. Visitors can also see a selection of the latest marine and aviation products.

“Garmin shows a great wealth of expertise across all GPS fields, with an amazing product range servicing land, sea and air,” says European Product Director, Clive Taylor of Garmin. “CeBit is a great opportunity to explore the many different ways in which leisure or business activities can be enhanced by GPS technology – from navigating your way around an unfamiliar area to setting up a fleet management system.”

Article by mike barrett on Saturday, March 03 @ 17:59:25 UTC

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