One of the benefits of portable navigation systems is voice-guided directions, and if you've got an in-car GPS that has text-to-speech functionality, even better. Continuing along those lines, there's a new technology that's just starting to show up in devices now: voice commands. With this capability, you can perform certain tasks with the sound of your voice. Since this is an emerging trend, there are just a handful of units with this feature, including these three from top manufacturers TomTom, Magellan, and Garmin.
A company with the unwieldy name of Making Virtual Solid has developed a new way for drivers to follow GPS directions, a virtual line projected onto a car's windshield. The technology, called Virtual Cable, uses existing heads-up-display components and standard GPS navigation systems, but would have to be factory-installed. From videos on the company's site, the system looks very usable, and a big improvement over current route guidance systems. The beauty of Virtual Cable is that it shows route guidance over real streets, as opposed to navigation screens, which show arrows on a map that the driver then … Read more
We've been overwhelmed by all the automotive tech announcements and new products at CES. During our first day, we've seen new car stereos and GPS devices, new services from both XM and Sirius satellite radio, and Ford's play to be the carmaker most talked about at the show. Here are a sampling of blogs we've posted from 2008 CES:
New Garmin Nuvi 800 series features voice commands A new trend in GPS devices lets you enter destinations with spoken commands. The Garmin Nuvi 800 is one of the first to offer this capability.
If you're a regular Cheapskate visitor (and my deep thanks if you are), you may recall the $99 GPS from earlier this month. It sold out fast, but now you have a second chance: The Holux GPSmile 52 Plus (known in some quarters as the GPSmile 53A) is available now from eCost for $99 (after a $35 mail-in rebate).
The GPSmile 52 Plus includes a 3.5-inch touchscreen, preloaded maps, a SirfstarIII chipset, and a windshield mount. You can even use it as an MP3 and video player (though I have to ask: Does anyone actually use those features?). … Read more
It's been well over a year since Dash Navigation unveiled its Internet-connected GPS device, and after months of beta testing, we're finally one step closer to actually seeing the Dash Express navigation system hit the streets. Today, the company announced that it's taking preorders for the Dash Express from its Web site, carrying a price tag of $599.99 that includes a complimentary three-month subscription to the Dash Service. Afterward you can choose from several plans to continue the service: two-year plan at $9.99 per month; one-year plan at $10.99 per month; or month-to-month at $… Read more
The $99.99 Pocket Loox GPS I highlighted Friday sold out so fast, I spent a good part of the weekend trolling for a similarly good deal. (That's how much I love you.) Mission accomplished: The Holux GPSmile52 sweetens the pot with its 3.5-inch touchscreen, making it a better car companion. That extra screen estate comes cheap: The GPSmile is available now for $129.99 (after a $10 mail-in rebate).
The specs look pretty solid, including the all-important preloaded maps and SirfstarIII chipset. Plus, a little Google searching revealed that it's possible to unlock this unit and install different GPS software (… Read more
Earlier this week, we told you how Mercedes-Benz had followed in the footsteps of its estranged partner, the Chrysler Group, by announcing a partnership with Hughes Telematics for all future models. At the time, Hughes confirmed that its service is scheduled to replace Mercedes' current Tele Aid system in late 2009 but declined to give any specifics on any of the features it would include. Well, thanks to the industrious gearheads over at Edmunds, we now have a clearer idea.
According to their report, the new telematics service will include all the emergency and roadside assistance features associated with GM'… Read more
Update 10:10 a.m. PT: It didn't take long for this to sell out. But stay tuned: I'll continue to post killer GPS deals as I find them.
It's like Black Friday, the sequel! In an apparent fit of madness, Tiger Direct is selling the Fujitsu Siemens Pocket Loox N100 GPS for $99.99. Granted, GPS prices have plummeted in recent months, but this is the first one I've seen dip below the $100 mark. Even more shocking, the Pocket Loox sold for $499 when CNET reviewed it earlier this year. This is the kind … Read more
Today, Toshiba announced an 80GB hard drive for automotive applications, doubling the capacity of current automotive hard drive offerings. Over the last year, we've seen an increasing number of cars with hard drive-based navigation and music servers, but the capacity topped out at 40GB, in the 2008 Cadillac CTS. An 80GB internal drive would likely reserve 10GB for map storage, leaving 70GB for music, video, and photos. The new 80GB automotive drive is 2.5 inches, similar in size to a laptop hard drive. Laptops have had drives well in excess of 100GB for some time now, but automotive … Read more
At ?8 ($16) a pop, London's congestion charge seemed eyewateringly expensive to those on this side of the pond even before the dollar went into freefall. But it's even more costly for those who drive into the congestion zone area and forget to pay the toll, who have to cough up between $100 and $300 for their absentmindedness.
Cue the Kenbuster, a device designed to save these poor souls from getting stung with hefty fines. Named in honor of Ken Livingstone, London's mayor and the brains behind the congestion charge, the Kenbuster uses a built-in GPS receiver … Read more