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CES 2009 Las Vegas : January 8-11th

It is January 1st, and that can only mean two things: I have a hangover from last night and I need to get packing ready for CES in Las Vegas.

CES 2009 will be interesting. When the World is in the middle of an economic downturn Consumer Electronics are not the first thing on most people's shopping lists. Coupled with the dive that Sterling has taken just visiting the USA is going to be expensive this year. With this foundation the CES exhibitors need to put on some spectacular presentations to entice the buyers.

Already I have heard that a number of Far Eastern companies will not be attending, the economics of exhibiting just don't work for them. On the other hand we will still see a lot of high cost marketing there. Dozens of celebrities from all walks of life have been contracted from Sports Stars to Music greats such as Stevie Wonder and Diana Ross. So it sounds like the party budget is still in place.

On a more serious note the major GPS players will be there, including TomTom, Garmin, Mio and Magellan. We are wondering if Magellan will be on the Mio stand like Navman were last year. We are expecting an announcement from Eclipse regarding the latest in-dash version of TomTom (a not too well kept secret). As usual there will be companies from around the globe attempting to secure a slice of the lucrative pie that is the US electronics market.

The PocketGPSWorld.com CES 2009 team will include Darren, Lutz, Maft and Mike. Together we will be ferreting out the juicy news and some of the more odd products on show in Sin City. As usual if you have any questions that you would like us to put to the GPS companies please post your queries in the CES forum thread below and we will do our best to ask the right people.

Created by Mike Barrett on Thursday, January 01 @ 14:55:00 UTC

Video: Microsoft MSN Direct interview with Joe Coco

MSN Direct has been around for some time now originally targeted at wearable computers (read watches) the technology has been refocused to provide information to navigation systems.

In our interview with Microsoft at CES Joe Coco explains how MSN Direct works, contrasting it to RDS as a data delivery service. We look at the services available over MSN Direct from traffic to movie times, and see theses services working on one of the latest Garmin SatNav systems with integrated MSN Direct.

Click here for our live interview with Joe Coco of Microsoft.

Article by Mike Barrett on Thursday, January 22 @ 00:18:04 UTC

Video: Nokia Community Enhanced Traffic

Nokia seem to be getting into navigation in a serious way these days. First they bought the software company Gate5 and produced Nokia Maps, then last year they bought their own mapping company: Navteq, now they are moving into the traffic business...

Nokia Community Enhanced Traffic is not a term we were familiar with before we arrived on the Nokia booth at CES this year. We approached Quinn Jacobson a research leader at the Nokia Research Center for an explanation. Basically Nokia use the phone as a probe and aggregate the information the users pass to the server with other traffic information (specifically Navteq) to provide an enhanced view of traffic that can then be displayed on the user's device. Although this mechanism can collate masses of data there are a number of pitfalls to community based collection we put some of these to Quinn to find out how Nokia overcome them.

Click here for our live interview with Quinn Jacobson of Nokia.

Article by Mike Barrett on Wednesday, January 21 @ 05:05:33 UTC

Video: GPS tracking to help Alzheimer sufferers

Tracking people has always been regarded as being a "Big Brother" scenario, and oftimes thought of as Science Fiction. Well for some time now the technology has been Science Fact, and has been used institutionally in a number of innovative ways, mainly to track offenders and enforce curfews. This technology is now becoming more affordable and the software is improving allowing the systems to be implemented in other social applications.

One such application is for Alzheimer's patients. Omnilink systems are working with the Alzheimer's Society to bring tracking and quality of life to sufferers. Using GPS tracking can assist them in leading a more free and active lifestyle safe in the knowledge that if they get lost or forget where they are supposed to be going then someone will always know exactly where they are. Omnilink Systems are a company specialising in the creation and management of these GPS tracking systems. We interviewed Steve Hudson of Omnilink to discover the technologies, and some of the issues and problems that they had to overcome to enable a fool-proof system which can be implemented with confidence. How the devices can be located even within buildings, how the device can be located and also the management of the system.

Click here for our live interview with Steve Hudson of Omnilink Systems.

Article by Mike Barrett on Wednesday, January 21 @ 04:02:02 UTC

Video: Interview with Andy Frankel: Nextar's SatNavs and plans for Europe

Nextar are not well known outside North America, but in the USA they are vying for the number 3 spot for portable SatNav systems. Not only do they produce SatNavs, but they manufacture and sell a whole range of portable lifestyle consumer electronics products from media players, to SatNavs, and one of my favorites a waterproof Bluetooth speaker for your pool. (I want to review one of those...).

Getting back to GPS and the Nextar SatNav range they have a a full range of devices from entry level to full featured models featuring MSN Direct data integration. We interviewed Andy Frankel who explained Nextar's position in the market, and where they were going in the next few months, including their plans for Europe.

Click here for our live interview with Andy Frankel.

Article by Mike Barrett on Tuesday, January 20 @ 17:20:49 UTC

New and improved mounting solutions from HR Autocomfort.

Herbert Richter (better known as HR) are well known for their mounting solutions. This year they have released a number of different packaged solutions, these include new low profile suction holders, along with new goose neck bike mounts, and some new packages for Sprint and other phones. The new suction holders look good and are so much smaller, less obtrusive and easier to position then the previous "banana" mounts.

If you are a motorbiker or mountain biker then the new handlebar mounts may interest you. With a short gooseneck they offer a greater number of mounting options. One of the concerns of active sports is that the device may pop out of the mount. This is actually very unlikely but HR have designed a custom 4 prong adapter to go between the mount and the holder. This has an elasticated strap which locks your device securely onto the bike. Of course this solution is not just for bikes, but for anything with a rail so it will work just as well on an ATV or a speed boat.

HR have also developed a new holder for the iPhone with an extension to the holder to clip the iPhone into it more securely when in landscape mode.

Low profile mount from HR
Low profile mount from HR

Mount invisible when device installed
Mount invisible when device installed

New gooseneck bike mount from HR
New gooseneck bike mount from HR

Security strap for HR holders
Security strap for HR holders

Security strap for HR holders
Security strap for HR holders

Article by Mike Barrett on Wednesday, January 14 @ 20:37:16 UTC

Lok8u Launches Nu.M8, a unique GPS Locator designed for children

Not just another GPS locator. Nu.M8 is unique not only in being the world's first locator designed for children but is also unique in being a waterproof watch and when fastened it will alarm if removed forcibly or cut.

Launched by UK location services company, Lok8u Ltd, this new GPS child locator is both innovative and fundamentally different to other products available in the market.

Given the concern most parents have these days in allowing their children the freedom to play these devices could prove very popular, allowing you the peace of mind to know where your child is at all times. Fully integrated with a Google Maps interface to allow instant location via SMS the device also includes the option to configure a geofence which will automatically trigger an alar if they stray outside of it.

Nu.M8 has a battery life of 7 days, has been dermatologically tested and is due to be available March 08. RRP is £149.99 plus monthly subscription fees.

Num8 Front
Num8 Front

Num8 Strap
Num8 Strap

Num8 Charger
Num8 Charger

Nu-M8 charging connections
Nu-M8 charging connections

Nu-M8 retail packaging
Nu-M8 retail packaging

Article by Darren Griffin on Wednesday, January 14 @ 16:55:18 UTC

Video: PosiMotion introduce a portable WiFi hub with GPS capabilities

Posimotion is a Florida based company that I read about some time ago. They were developing a WiFi access point with an embedded GPS. You might ask why? Well some hardware platforms dont have USB/Serial connectivity, but do have WiFi (notably the iPhone and iPod Touch). The G-Fi overcomes this limitation by providing a GPS datastream over WiFi. The G-Fi and G-Fi VS have both been honored with 2009 CES Innovations Awards in the In-Vehicle Navigation/Telematics/ITS category and the Electronic Gaming categories (respectively).

We are rather excited about the prospects of the G-Fi and some of it's potential uses. Imagine a game of World of Warcraft connected by a G-Fi hub in the middle of the desert or in a remote mountain hut with no internet connectivity. The G-Fi can provide a local network for combatants.

Click here for our live interview with company director Olivier Hennessy at CES video for Quicktime Mac or Click here for a Windows media version of the video.

Article by Mike Barrett on Wednesday, January 14 @ 03:39:37 UTC

Video: Interview with Networks in Motion developer of VZ Navigator

Networks in Motion is not a name well known in Europe, but in the US they are the software company driving the VZ Navigator product on the Blackberry handsets. NIM have been around for some years now providing OEM navigation solutions, and have been seen in the past on the Gamin stand. This time they were partnering Blackberry and we met with VP of Marketing Steve Andler. Steve introduces the Verizon VZ Navigator on the new Blackberry Storm.

The Blackberry Storm is a touchscreen full display device which brings the Blackberry range more in line with the recent products from HTC, Apple and The T-Mobile Android G1. As it is a connected device it accesses the Internet this allows it to show both location and time sensitive data in real time. Our video shows some of the available interactive functionality for VZ Navigator.

Click here for our live interview with Steve at CES video for Quicktime Mac or Click here for a Windows media version of the video.

Article by Mike Barrett on Wednesday, January 14 @ 03:20:38 UTC

Video: Garmin announce the Zumo 660 at CES

Garmin launched the Zumo range of motorbike SatNavs early in 2007, at CES they were showing the latest addition in the range the Zumo 660. Garmin have learnt from the earlier devices and have made the Zumo motorcycle friendly. Amongst the new features are glove friendly controls, a compass, and new 3D buildings show on the maps.

Click here for our live Garmin Zumo demo at CES video for Quicktime Mac or Click here for a Windows media version of the video.

Article by Mike Barrett on Wednesday, January 14 @ 02:51:39 UTC

MIO show an sub-notebook concept device

MIO traditionally have a concept display on their booth. This year was no different rather than show us a handheld or PND navigation device they had on display a PDA on steroids. With a sub-notebook format the MIO Internet device has a 7" 800x480 widescreen display running Windows Mobile 6.1. For communications the device has a WiFi interface and USB ports. There is also a built-in SiRFStarIII GPS for navigation, but no 3G to allow communications away from a Hotspot. Powering this is a battery with a claimed 8 hour runtime.

MIO concept sub-notebook
MIO concept sub-notebook

MIO concept sub-notebook
MIO concept sub-notebook

Article by Mike Barrett on Wednesday, January 14 @ 02:33:43 UTC

Good Morning Mike : Mio display the Knight Rider Navigation system

Star of the stage on the Mio booth was the Knight Rider GPS. The Knight Rider car was the focus of the stand heralding the new GPS Navigation system. Although it was announced last year this is the first time we got to see the device in the flesh. It has design touches from the car, particularly noticeable in the red LED strobes down each side which move in synch with the authentic KITT voice navigation instructions. Although we have seen some pretty wild devices this themed GPS is done very well and could become a popular navigation system.

“The Knight Rider GPS by Mio is a groundbreaking entertainment branded navigation system that’s a super cool and natural extension of an iconic television franchise,” said Jeremy Laws, senior vice president of mobile & broadband, Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group.  “I mean, who are you going to trust more than Mio GPS and K.I.T.T. to get you out of trouble when you're lost in L.A. traffic?”
With a 4.3 inch screen and map data of the USA and Canada the Knight Rider GPS is available now for about $200-$250.

The MIO Knight Rider GPS
The MIO Knight Rider GPS

The MIO Knight Rider GPS
The MIO Knight Rider GPS

The MIO Knight Rider GPS
The MIO Knight Rider GPS

Article by Mike Barrett on Tuesday, January 13 @ 21:44:15 UTC

ALK show CoPilot Live running on iPhone and Android

Every year when we visit trade shows we see samples or technology previews. Often these are mockups or in the case of a lot of Far Eastern companies non working boxes. However on the ALK booth CoPilot had 2 working proof of concept devices on show. CoPilot Live was actually running on both the iPhone 3g and the T-Mobile G1 Android device.

As we were inside we were unable to evaluate the effectiveness of the GPS on the iPhone, but the application itself was a little slow. I must admit that the display was spectacular as I would expect from the iPhone, but with the restrictive rules for acceptance into the iTunes App Store it is unlikely that this will see production.

On the other hand David Quinn also had a T-Mobile G1, the first Android device to be released. Now this was also running a demo of CoPilot live but in this case there are no restrictions on the use of the device and it is far more likely to be released. I must admit that although the G1 has been around for a while now this was the first time I got my hands on one. They are nice devices which may well give Apple a run for their money...

It is interesting that neither of these devices will sell in anything like the numbers of Blackberry (in the USA) and Nokia (everywhere else) but they seem to generate more media coverage than the best sellers. Everyone needs to get an application running on Android or iPhone, but the potential market in other makes is far larger.

CoPilot technology preview on the iPhone
CoPilot technology preview on the iPhone

CoPilot technology preview on the iPhone
CoPilot technology preview on the iPhone

CoPilot technology preview on the T-Mobile G1
CoPilot technology preview on the T-Mobile G1

Article by Mike Barrett on Tuesday, January 13 @ 21:25:04 UTC

Video: Interview with Navteq: Collection and distribution of Traffic Information

Traffic is always a hot topic. As our navigation devices evolve we are demanding faster, better and more accurate information for our journey, traffic data is probably the most important data element for navigation devices after the maps. There are a number of ways to collect and distribute the traffic information. We stopped off at the Navteq booth so that Lutz could grill Alex a Marketing Manager for Navteq Traffic on how Navteq have implemented the collection, aggregation and distribution of traffic information.

If you watch the video closely you will see the first implementation of an advertising based revenue model. This is on a Garmin and allows the display of location aware adverts in a meaningful and safe manner. Could this be the way forward for our value added services? Would you be prepared to be advertised to rather than pay a subscription?

Click here for our live interview with Navteq at CES video for Quicktime Mac or Click here for a Windows media version of the video.

Article by Mike Barrett on Tuesday, January 13 @ 20:31:55 UTC

Video: Garmin demonstrate Eco Routes on a Nuvi 7x5

In this day and age with soaring petrol/gas prices we are all becoming a little more careful with fuel costs. With this in mind Garmin have introduced a free download called Eco Routes this allows you to analyse your trips both in terms of fuel costs and also the carbon footprint. If you are looking to tighten the purse strings or trying to minimise the environmental impact of your trips then this software may be useful for you.

Click here for our live demonstration at CES video for Quicktime Mac or Click here for a Windows media version of the video.

Article by Mike Barrett on Tuesday, January 13 @ 20:11:26 UTC

Video: Eclipse and TomTom launch the in-dash AVN4430 multimedia navigation system

Not exactly a well kept secret, but Eclipse and TomTom finally announced the AVN4430 at CES this week. This is a collaboration between TomTom and Fujitsu to create a multimedia in-dash device with a double DIN format. This allows the integration of a wide screen TomTom device (running the latest version 8 software) directly into the audio system in the car. The Navigation device is removable and can be installed in a different car using a travel kit.

The Fujitsu multimedia device handles all the audio output from the TomTom or the connected devices (iPOD). It can also feed a video signal to the TomTom. This is used for interaction with the system and also shows the images from a reversing camera. Our video presents an interview with Wolfgang TomTom's automotive specialist. Lutz questions Wolfgang about the system and the TomTom integration into the dashboard.

Click here for our live interview with TomTom at CES video for Quicktime Mac or Click here for a Windows media version of the video.

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, January 12 @ 03:19:50 UTC

Video: TomTom launch the GO 740 Live: our video shows the new services.

TomTom need no introduction from us. During CES 2009 they officially launched the TomTom Go 740 Live for the North American market. Unlike Europe where the range included 3 models only a single version has been launched here. Also unlike Europe the live services do not include either Safety Camera warnings or HD Traffic.

The TomTom GO 740 Live does include all the other services including normal traffic, weather, fuel, buddies and my favourite Google local search. Since I have been using my 940 I have not bothered to use POIs, I just use the Google search to find my destination. It has far more information, and is more dynamic than the built in POIs. The unit comes with a built in SIM card and will be available in Q2 this year for $499 with a full year's service "out of the box". Kaitlin from TomTom shows us the new device and gives us a demo of the new live features on the TomTom GO 740 Live.

Click here for our TomTom GO 740 live at CES video for Quicktime Mac or Click here for a Windows media version of the video.

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, January 12 @ 02:44:16 UTC

Video: NXT and Tunebug demonstrate "exciting" technology to create sounds from flat surfaces

NXT are a UK company that are pushing the boundaries of sound. Their main technology is the ability to project sound from just about any flat surface. The process uses "Exciters" to vibrate the surface and thus create the sound field. We went to a breakfast meeting where a number of NXT's clients were displaying their products.

The one that attracted our attention most was from Tunebug. Tunebug have developed a number of devices using the surface sound technology all based around a common body, but with slightly different functionality. The first is a mp3 player, it is self powered and when you sit it on a hard surface all of a sudden you hear the music. This is difficult to conceive in text. Click on one of the video links below to actually experience it. The variations on a theme include a "dumb" speaker, you just plug your existing mp3 player into the device. The final variant is designed for motorcyclists. The Tunebug fits on the back of your helmet and includes a microphone link, this allows you to communicate with your passenger, and still enjoy the music. The experience of having your entire helmet emitting sound is quite amazing.

Click here for our NXT/Tunebugs video for Quicktime Mac or Click here for a Windows media version of the video. Prepare to be amazed as the Tunebug is placed on a sheet of plastic.

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, January 12 @ 01:54:01 UTC

Cobra Launch Radar/GPS Speed Camera Detector (USA)

Not something we will be seeing here in the UK as 'active detection' which encompasses laser and radar is shortly to be outlawed here but Cobra Electronics chose CES to launch a range of radar detectors including the XRS9960G.

The XRS9960G is one a of a number of radar detectors Cobra will offer that can be expanded with the addition of an accessory GPS Receiver to add support for GPS Location alerts. Included in the purchase price will be access to Cobra's Speed Camera and Red-Light Database.

Cobra XRS9960G
Cobra XRS9960G

Article by Darren Griffin on Saturday, January 10 @ 17:41:33 UTC

TomTom Launch GO 740 in the US - minus HD Traffic

Yes you read that right, the prime selling feature of the x40 range, HD Traffic, will not be available on the launch 740 model to US buyers. Instead it will deliver a Traffic Data Feed via GSM from a third party.

All other features of the x40 range inc Google Local Search, Fuel Prices, Buddies etc will be available and the 740 is the only model being offered currently.

TomTom remain tight lipped on if/when HD Traffic will make it to the US 740 but as a deal sweetener it comes with 12mths subscription included in the sale price.

Article by Darren Griffin on Saturday, January 10 @ 17:40:20 UTC

Cambridge Silicon Radio introduce enhanced GPS (eGPS)

CSR's enhanced GPS (eGPS®) technology is a new platform for integrating universal positioning capability into handsets. It is backwards compatible with A-GPS and allows GSM/3G mobile network users to get fast and reliable positioning data - even deep indoors - with a minimal impact on battery life. Key features include:

- faster fixes - positioning on demand, without the wait of GPS or A-GPS
- 'fallback' positioning - accurate positioning indoors, when GPS signals are unavailable
- simple to embed - purpose-designed for handsets, it's tiny, and consumes minimal power

The chipset can work with existing processors (on the phone or PND) for the initial fix computation) and then maintain the fix on its own, reducing the load on the main processor. Adding Galileo compatibility could be as easy as loading a new firmware.

As an added bonus the chipset can do bluetooth too.

More details of the eGPS solution can be found at http://www.csr.com/egps/video.htm

Article by Darren Griffin on Saturday, January 10 @ 01:41:50 UTC

Alzheimer’s Association partners with Omnilink Systems for patient tracking

Omnilink are known for their commercial and judicial GPS tracking solutions (they are the company that produce the ankle bracelets for criminal offenders), but at CES they announced a new area of tracking, namely the whereabouts of Alzheimer "wanderers". Here is the press release:

"The Alzheimer's Association now has the opportunity with technology to move from a reactive support program to a proactive one and to deliver value-added services to further improve the lives of people with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers. Omnilink Systems will provide the Alzheimer's Association with a tracking and recovery platform that can support the broad array of device and network technology options. This will result in the Alzheimer's Association being able to offer a consistent user experience and personal device choice for caregivers to consider throughout all stages of the disease."

At the CES Omnilink Systems showcases its use as a generic platform , showing how Omnilink is being easily integrated with any LBS application or device to rapidly deploy the most sophisticated new applications of GPS technology in the consumer and government markets.

We will have a video of the presentation up shortly. In the meantime, enjoy the picture of the ankle bracelet.

Omnilink criminal offender tracking device (ankle bracelet)
Omnilink criminal offender tracking device (ankle bracelet)

Article by Darren Griffin on Saturday, January 10 @ 01:27:17 UTC

MSN Direct - the phoenix rises from the ashes?

Anyone remember the Spot watches that Microsoft once pushed (or rather that they pushed content to)? This idea seemed to have been dead for good. Alas - it is now being reborn as MSN Direct. On the CES Microsoft announced the extension of the service to contain traffic, weather, stock quotes, local event information, local gas (petrol) prices, and airport arrivals/departures.

MSN Direct is technically similar to TMC (in that it uses vacant bandwith of FM radio station transmissions) but Microsoft claims that MSN Direct can transport about 15 times the amount of data compared to TMC.

We'll have a video of the interview with Microsoft up later, but it's really interesting to see that a push-only technology may actually make business sense nowadays.

Example of a weather overlay (with Doppler imagery) received via MSN Direct
Example of a weather overlay (with Doppler imagery) received via MSN Direct

Article by Lutz Bendlin on Friday, January 09 @ 08:03:56 UTC

JVC Mobile Entertainment Introduces KW-NT1 Navigation

JVC has chosen CES to launch a new double DIN navigation system to add to its 2009 line-up, the KW-NT1.

With a 6.1 inch removable display, text to speech, built-in Bluetooth the NT1 is very well equipped and also includes front mounted USB which allows full 2-way control of a connected iPod/iPhone. An SD card slot is also provided for MP3 playback.

The Bluetooth hands-free allows for stress free driving and an external high-quality microphone is an optional extra. Oher features of the NT1 include 6 million Points of Interest, a built-in comprehensive map coverage including United States, Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, 3D Map viewing, excess speed alert, adaptive volume control, MOS-FET 50W x 4, rear view camera input, J-BUS terminal, steering wheel remote ready, and gold-plated input and output terminals.

The KW-NT1 is available in March at an MSRP of $1,099.05 with a European model due later this year.

JVC KW-NT1 Double DIN SatNav


Article by Darren Griffin on Thursday, January 08 @ 23:42:01 UTC

Sony announce a Netbook and a range of GPS enabled Camcorders

The Sony Press conference is always a well attended event. Despite the difficulty of finding it (we went to the wrong part of Las Vegas) the presentation was good and apart from all the normal consumer TV/DVD announcements Sony announced a new NetBook PC, and a range of Camcorders with built in GPS.

The NetBook, daubed Vaio P Series Lifestyle PC is well up to Sony's standard of small computers. With an 8 inch high resolution screen the computer weighs just under one and a half pounds, but still runs a full blown Microsoft Vista operating system. To back all this up there is a 128Gb solid state disk drive, and any form of connectivity you want from Ethernet, to Wireless, to built in 3G. All of this fits in a tiny package that can slip straight into your pocket (unfortunately Sony had Kingston locks on all the demo computers to prevent us trying that out...).

The Netbook also has GPS built in. There is little information about the actual chipset or the functionality of the supplied software, but they said that you can use the GPS with no network connection in USA and Canada. This implies that there is some form on mapping application installed on the disk drive.

Click here for the full Sony Vaio P Series Lifestyle PC specifications. This is expected to be in stores in February with a price of around $900.

The Camcorders are also new for sony, and have lots of very neat and innovative features. Apart from the standard functions you would expect from a camcorder the HDR-XR520V, HDR-XR500V and HDR-XR-200V all have built in GPS. Now we saw the first video camera with GPS at IFA last year, but unfortunately the camera never made it to the market before MyGuide went into liquidation. The Sony camcorders are very different though. They have not only onboard GPS, but also onboard mapping too. They have embedded Navteq maps into the camera allowing you to view your video or pictures by location as well as time on the camera. You can see some pictures of the interface below. The camcorders range in price from $1000 to $1500 and will be available in Spring 09.

Another neat accessory is a Bluetooth microphone system. With a range of 300 feet it can either record the audio from the presenter alone or the presenter and the camera operator interview style. There is also a 'director' mode where the audio from the mic on the camera is transmitted to the presenter allowing instructions to be given, but not included with the recording.

Of course Sony announced many other products, but probably the most stunning was a 40 inch OLED. It had a most amazing picture, and the screen was so thin it was unbelievable. The Sony rep we talked to said it would cost about $4000. Interestingly we were talking to a member of the OLED SIG who told us that probably in 2 years time LCD will be a redundant technology with OLED being the market leader. He claimed that the OLED technology was cheaper to run and 50% cheaper to manufacture than LCD. LCD would still be produced for that long to recoup the massive investment that companies have placed in the manufacturing processes.

The Sony P series netbook PC
The Sony P series netbook PC

The Sony P series netbook PC
The Sony P series netbook PC

The Sony P series netbook PC
The Sony P series netbook PC

The Sony HDR-XR500V GPS Camcorder
The Sony HDR-XR500V GPS Camcorder

The Sony HDR-XR500V GPS Camcorder
The Sony HDR-XR500V GPS Camcorder

The Sony HDR-XR500V GPS Camcorder
The Sony HDR-XR500V GPS Camcorder

The Sony BT Camcorder Microphone
The Sony BT Camcorder Microphone

The Sony BT Camcorder Microphone
The Sony BT Camcorder Microphone

Article by Mike Barrett on Thursday, January 08 @ 16:00:05 UTC

CES Unveiled: A showcase of selected CES exhibitors

Today is the start of CES proper, but over the last 2 days there have been some Press Events to announce, launch, or simply just present products outside the main hustle and bustle of the Tradeshow.

The first event we attended was the CES Unveiled, where Eclipse were on hand to show us the new (and not so secret) AVN4430. This is effectively a TomTom device embedded in a double height DIN format car stereo. The TomTom itself is removable and the car stereo can also play music from a connected iPod, or CD/DVD from a slot hiding behind the unit's facia. Looking at the version screen it seems that this TomTom Eclipse is running version 8 software with 720.1802 North America mapping.

Eclipse won an Innovations 2009 award for the AVN4430. We will be visiting Eclipse later in the week to talk to a TomTom spokesman to get more details of the device.

Further GPS was restricted to Cobra who were displaying a new laser detector that also includes a GPS module. If you look on the left side of the photo the 'wing' attachment is the GPS module. The display size seemed to me to be somewhat compact for the size of the unit, but I suppose there is not too much information that really needs to be displayed when approaching a speed trap.

On the non-GPS side of things Corsair had the coolest memory. Literally!!! They were demonstrating a USB flash memory stick running in the centre of a block of ice. Real cool man... If you are looking for some bling for your ear that also doubles as a BT hands-free system for your phone then check out the latest goodies from LG. Despite its looks the device fitted very comfortably in my ear and felt extremely stable and secure there.

The Eclipse AVN-4430 with TomTom navigation
The Eclipse AVN-4430 with TomTom navigation

The Eclipse AVN-4430 with TomTom navigation
The Eclipse AVN-4430 with TomTom navigation

The Eclipse AVN-4430 with TomTom navigation
The Eclipse AVN-4430 with TomTom navigation

The Eclipse AVN-4430 Innovations 2009 award
The Eclipse AVN-4430 Innovations 2009 award

Cobra combined Laser and GPS speed trap dectector
Cobra combined Laser and GPS speed trap dectector

Corsair: The coolest memory of the show
Corsair: The coolest memory of the show

Bling!!!  The new LG BT Headset
Bling!!! The new LG BT Headset

Article by Mike Barrett on Thursday, January 08 @ 14:58:47 UTC

Posted by juwlz on Sun Jan 04, 2009 1:51 pm Reply with quote

Either I've missed something, or the New Year celebtrations mean people's attention is elsewhere!

Anyway, given that TomTom were allegedly attempting to produce a navigation solution for the fashionable but relatively low-volume sales iPhone, do they have any plans to resume work on software for higher volume if less fashionable platform smartphones? My personal interest is in TomTom on Symbian S60 3rd edition (for my Nokia E90, likely to be upgrading to an N97 when available), but I'm sure there are plenty of Windows Mobile users out there who'd be delighted to have updated software available and supported.

I've been evaluating a number of alternative navigation solutions for S60 3rd Edition, but frankly, none of them can hold a candle to TomTom. Not that TomTom is perfect, but at least it has a friendly UI and generally comes up with more-or-less sensible routes and well-timed voice instructions. It lets me specify where I want to get to accurately, and it doesn't crash all the time!

I live in hope, but I despair of anybody producing software for the smartphone that I'd be happy to rely on - even as an occasional backup to my now-aging TomTom One. TomTom's intelligent routing (based on avg speeds at different times of day) and anonymous traffic speed feedback for traffic info all sounds interesting, but I don't currently have access to it.

The other avenue I'd be interested in is whether Google might ever produce a turn-by-turn version of Google Maps. I understand that the licences for maps including the info for voice navigation are more expensive, and I wouldn't expect it to be free (as gMaps currently is - without voice navigation) - but I'd really like to see Google have a go.


Android user and occasional blogger

Posted by lbendlin on Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:49 am Reply with quote

Sorry, but we haven't heard anything from TomTom that would hint at any form of resurrection of the Symbian client. Even the Pocket PC client updates (now at 7.910) are more of a concession to HTC rather than a serious product roadmap.


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