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Friday, May 13, 2005

Cellphones, PDA's & Navigation Systems

( Via Yaho0) Tomorrow's navigation system would be portable navigation devices.Aside from commercial or marine applications, most global positioning systems (GPS) are installed in cars - helping people get from point A to B while driving. A new breed of navigation systems is about to change this as consumers will soon get driving directions via their cell phone or PDA. Navigation systems are most often sold as original equipment by the auto makers. They typically include a color screen in the center console that provides maps and turn-by-turn driving instructions. These systems also provide voice output so the driver can keep their eyes on the road while driving. Vehicle navigation systems are costly options, and customers that opt for these features are typically buyers of luxury cars or high-end SUVs. But a new class of systems-called PNDs (for Portable Navigation Devices)- are about to make these features very affordable. "These portable solutions offer almost the same functionality as in-vehicle navigation systems, but at a fraction of the price," said Phil Magney, TRG's principal telematics analyst.
With entry prices starting as low as $300, portable navigation devices come with color displays and removable memory cards. They function much the same as the OEM-fitted solutions--often using the same map database providers. And since PNDs are portable, they can be taken from car to car - a big advantage to consumers who would not want to limit the use of a navigation system to one vehicle
.In fact, most Pocket PCs or PDAs can be turned into navigation devices when connected to a GPS receiver. Similarly, some cell phones (a.k.a. smartphones) can be converted into navigation devices-obtaining map and traffic data "on-demand" from central servers.

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