Home PageFacebookRSS News Feed
PocketGPS
Web
Read the current newsletter! Weekly
Newsletter
SatNav,GPS,Navigation
Get Speed Camera Warnings For SatNavs Get Speed Camera Warnings For Android Get Speed Camera Warnings For iPhone

CES 2008 Las Vegas: The World's biggest consumer electronics show

Date 18th January 2008

Article by Mike Barrett, Maft Morley and Lutz Bendlin.

 

Well the Hustle and Bustle of Las Vegas and the CES show is over and the dust has settled. CES is the season opener for tradeshows and for us is probably one of the most difficult to cover. It took over an hour to get between one appointment and the next.

 

The main themes (GPS speaking) of the show were Voice Recognition, Connectivity for real time data, and GPS Data Logging and tracking particularly photo Geotagging applications.

 

As ever there is always a wealth of scantily clad ladies draping themselves over expensive paint jobs on cars. Endless miles of walking around the halls to find the next booth. Even finding some was a challenge.

 

There was also some fun stuff to be seen. There was an R2D2 robot with a Millenium Falcon remote that not only wizzed around the floor, but also was a projector for video... Neat!! Then there was the iBuddy, a little device that connects to the USB port and flutters its wings when it reads emoticons... Massive TVs, so big that I doubt most houses would be physically capable of supporting them. Format wars still rage with BluRay seeming to have the edge over HD-DVD (guess who invested in HD-DVD).

 

The highlight for me though was the 3D virtual reality system. This was something out of Tom Clancey's Net Force novels, but we all experiences a glimpse of the possible future. A 3D computer operating system...

 

Getting back on track here is a round up of some of the GPS related booths and news at the show:

 

We have a number of videos of the event. These are available in both Quicktime and Windows Media formats. Enjoy...

 

The BugLabs "Lego" gadget explained.

Click here for Windows Media Player

Click here for Quicktime Movie

Smarter Agent LBS application

Click here for Windows Media Player

Click here for Quicktime Movie

The new Mio concept devices

Click here for Windows Media Player

Click here for Quicktime Movie

 

 

Mio present a couple of Concept GPS Systems at CES


The latest version of Mio Map on display
The latest version of Mio Map on display

On the Mio booth there were 2 concept products.

The first was a "connected" PND. This is basically a PND that has an integrated SIM card allowing the system to both make handsfree calls without the need for other equipment, or to connect to the Internet via GPRS. This allows the SatNav to query MIO's new MioMore service. MioMore is an online service that can return real-time information via GPRS. This can be anything from Traffic info to Location Based search results.

The second device is an innovative solution to the problem with mobile phones as navigation devices. A double sided phone with a screen on both sides. The front of the phone is a standard phone with a dial pad and small screen, whilst the back of the phone is a full sized screen which displays the navigation data.

Also on display was the latest version of MioMap incorporating the Tele Atlas 3D maps. We spent a while with Leon at NavNGo and managed to get some video footage of the Mio in action.


The Mio concept Nav Phone
The Mio concept Nav Phone

The Mio concept Nav Phone
The Mio concept Nav Phone

The Mio concept connected PND
The Mio concept connected PND

 

Mio merges brand with Navman


The Navman boys Graham and David
The Navman boys Graham and David

Since Navman was bought by Mitac there has been all sort of speculation about what will happen to the Navman/Mio Navigation systems. Well at CES last week some of these questions were answered, with the announcement of the merging of the Mio and Navman Brands.

I travelled to Las Vegas in the same plane as David, Colin and Graham of Navman UK, and was looking for the Navman booth all week. It was only when I turned up at the Mio stand and saw the guys dressed in orange and black that I realised why I hadnt found Navman...

The concept of the merger is that the two brands will be run side by side, with Navman being sold in countries like the UK, Spain and New Zealand where the brand is strong and Mio being sold elsewhere. For the time being, at least, the two ranges will be seperate with Mio Map 3 being sold on systems in Europe and Navman on UK,Spain and New Zealand devices.

Click here for the Mio press release.


Mike and the Mio Team
L-R Sammy (Taiwan), Mike, Paul (Belgium), Graham and David (UK)

 

Evermore Technology improve EverPhoto.


Mike meets Jimmy and Cheryl from EverMore
Mike meets Jimmy and Cheryl from EverMore

As Ever we met with our old friend Jimmy (and new friend Cheryl) from Evermore technology. Evermore have been working hard on improving the EverPhoto product and showed us some great new features, but swore us to secrecy... We will be able to announce the new software in March for the CeBIT tradefair.

In the mean time Evermore are doing some good business in the USA and were one of the more popular of the Asian booths. In fact Jimmy was so busy we were only able to have short chats between his meetings. This is nice to see from one of the long standing GPS companies. Jimmy was telling me about a deal he has done with the North American Emergency Services providing tracking systems for the operatives.

I was amazed how a lot of the smaller companies can afford to exhibit at CES. There were a lot of booths in the Hong Kong/China/Taiwan halls that didn't seem to attract any visitors. It must be very difficult for a lot of these companies to come half way round the world, but all it takes is one good deal to make the whole thing worthwhile.

 

SmarterAgent launch Homes For Sale at CES


Carrie demonstrates SmarterAgent
Carrie demonstrates SmarterAgent

SmarterAgent is a name that some of you may recognise if you follow our event reports. They have been contestants in the Navteq LBS challenge, and they lent me a version of "Apartments for Rent" when I came to CTIA Orlando.

Last week they launched "Homes for Sale" at CES. This basically allows you to do a GPS centric search of properties for sale. You have options to refine the search to your specific requirements and then view images of the property or call the realtor.

The whole package runs on pretty much any Java enabled phone - indeed it was being demonstrated on Motorola Razr at the show. While we were there we created a video of the application in action. This video is currently in post production and we will release it soon. We will also put the program through some tests on different devices.

SiRF announce SiRFInstantFixII technology to speed startup of GPS devices.


Last week at CES SiRF announced a new firmware solution to improve the startup time of a GPS device without Internet connectivity. To put it simply SiRF have developed a predictive algorithm which allows the critical satellite position data to be predicted for up to 3 days.

According to Le Lei Tsien of SiRF this will improve the time to first fix when you get into the car in an ideal environment, but will be even more useful in cities where the GPS signals are typically weaker. This works because the satellite position (ephemeris) data is transmitted once every 30 seconds, if the signal is weak the GPS must wait for the next 30 seconds etc.

In an AGPS device the ephemeris data can be downloaded from the Internet, allowing faster fixes. For normal GPS if the ephemeris data is known (hot start) the GPS can fix in one second. Using the predictive algorithm allows the GPS to do a hot fix and then update the internal ephemeris data when it becomes available.

Garmin debut new Outdoor and Fitness GPS devices


The new Garmin Edge 705
The new Garmin Edge 705

Back in August Garmin sneaked out a press release about upgrades to the Edge cycling GPS systems. As I missed the UK cycle show I also managed to completely miss this announcement. There had been rumors about possible enhancements, but no firm facts. Well last week at CES I managed to get my hands on the 705 for a little play.

As soon as you pick it up you can feel the difference. It is quite a bit thicker to accommodate a larger battery. You can also see that there is a new joystick that is used to control another new feature: full colour mapping. To provide storage for the maps Garmin have added a MicroSD slot.

One other major feature that has been added is the ability to wirelessly transfer data between devices in close proximity. This (I assume) allows you create a route on one device, then meet for a ride with your companions and share the route with everyone.

We also had a chat with Clark Webber the creator of MotionBased who tells us that Garmin are working on an improved version to be launched soon. Click here for more details and the press release...

On the handheld GPS side of things. The new Garmin Colorado is about the same size as the current GPSMAP 60CSx but has a very different user interface. Gone are the array of buttons and joy pad to be replaces with a wheel and centre button.

The Colorado supports the range of Garmin Digital mapping products and allows for basic turn by turn navigation. Don't expect voice announcements though. Also built in is a temperature sensor and also wireless connections to a heart rate monitor and speed or cadence sensors as used on the Edge cycling systems.

The price of the Colorado base system is $499 with world basemap, or $599 with more detailed mapping (Topo or Marine). Click here for more details.


The new Garmin Edge 705 front controls
The new Garmin Edge 705 front controls

The new Garmin Edge 705 side controls
The new Garmin Edge 705 side controls

The new Garmin Edge 705 side controls
The new Garmin Edge 705 side controls

The new Garmin Colorado
The new Garmin Colorado

Zoombak launch 2 GPS locators at CES Las Vegas


Zoombak GPS Locator
Zoombak GPS Locator

Zoombak launched 2 GPS location systems at CES last week. One is a GPS Car and Personnel GPS locator, the other is a Pet Locator.

Both use the same core technologies a GPS datalogger with a mobile phone interface allowing the device to be activated remotely. The system has a 5 day battery life in standby mode, and will last for 150 location requests. As the logger is online it also supports quick location fixes using A-GPS.

The system supports on-demand location queries where a text alert can be sent to your phone, or you can query the device using the Zoombak Internet site. You can set GeoFences (areas on a map) where you will be alerted if the devices crosses the boundary.

Apart from pets, cars and children these systems are ideal for people with memory problems such as Alzheimer's Disease allowing you to locate the person liberating them from the confines of constant care.

Currently these Zoombak systems are only available in the US, but will be launching in Europe soon.


Zoombak GPS Locator for your car
Zoombak GPS Locator for your car

Zoombak GPS Locator for your car
Zoombak GPS Locator for your car

Zoombak GPS Locator for your dog
Zoombak GPS Locator for your dog

Zoombak GPS Locator for your dog
Zoombak GPS Locator for your dog

Pharos display Trips and Pics at CES


Pharos Trips and Pics
Pharos Trips and Pics

Pharos introduces a new photograph geotagging system at CES. Called Trips and Pics the system includes a SiRFStarIII GPS datalogger which can match the timestamp of an image taken on any digital camera to that of the recorded track of the datalogger. These images can then be used in Google Earth or Microsoft Streets and Trips (called Autoroute in Europe) to show where the pictures were taken.

The GPS datalogger can be set to record at intervals varying from 1 second to 5 minutes and boasts a battery life of 24 hours continuous use. The software not only has image matching functionality, it can also provide trip statistics as well.

Click here for more details.



Pharos Trips and Pics
Pharos Trips and Pics

Wonde Proud introduce MTK based dataloggers for Photo GeoTagging


Wonde Proud add MTK based GPS dataloggers to their product range
Wonde Proud add MTK based GPS dataloggers to their product range

Some time ago I reviewed the GisTeq PhotoTrackr system (review here ) this is a great system but the GPS datalogger was not the most sensitive of devices. Wonde Proud have now released a barrel shaped GPS datalogger with a carabiner clip to attach to a convenient belt loop or equipment bag.

Wonde Proud have incorporated an MTK GPS chipset, which is one of the most sensitive chipsets on the market. It is powered by a single AAA sized battery. I walked away for the Wonde Proud booth with one of these new systems to test.


Wonde Proud add MTK based GPS dataloggers to their product range
Wonde Proud add MTK based GPS dataloggers to their product range

LG displays a range of Destinator powered navigation systems


The LG Navigation display
The LG Navigation display

The massive Electronics company LG has a big section of its exhibition area dedicated to GPS devices. These PND systems have customised Destinator software.


The LG Navigation display
The LG Navigation display

The LG Navigation display
The LG Navigation display

HR Debut the new ICE Mounts for the iPhone


The new HR ICE Mount for the iPhone
The new HR ICE Mount for the iPhone

HR are always at the forefront of car mounting solutions. This year they have introduced an ICE mount for the iPhone, a new range of Gooseneck mounts with a Cigar Lighter fitting, and a desk stand.

As you can see the ICE is a departure from the standard black ABS plastic that is normally uised for mounts. The transparent plastic makes for a better fashion statement, and also (at least subjectively) provides better street visibility. The holder for the iPhone will be followed by holders for other popular phones and PNAs.

How long before we see made to order mounts in custom colors?

And, if you do not want to put the suction cup mount onto your windscreen, HR are also providing a self-adhesive silver disk that you can stick onto your dashboard (and later remove without traces) where you can then fasten the suction cup. Maybe a good alternative if you don't like the (pricier) standard dash mounts.


The new HR ICE Mount for the iPhone
The new HR ICE Mount for the iPhone

The new HR cigar lighter gooseneck mounts
The new HR cigar lighter gooseneck mounts

The new HR cigar lighter gooseneck mounts
The new HR cigar lighter gooseneck mounts

The new HR desk mounts
The new HR desk mounts

Globalsat show new GPS Trackers, Bluetooth GPS and PND


Globalsat GTV-380
Globalsat GTV-380

The Globalsat booth had a few new products on display. Amongst these were a new GTV-380 a SatNav with integrated Digital TV, a very slim bluetooth GPS and a GSM enabled GPS tracking device.

The Bluetooth GPS looks like a Jesus phone that went through one too many washing cycles. Actually, a lot of completely unrelated devices on the CES showfloor sported a iPhone-like case. Whatever...

The GPS tracker is targeted at trucks, construction machinery etc. The battery is large enough to support a whole work week (or weekend) of device tracking. It is also well protected against the elements (IP6x). Let's hope it fares better than the poorly supported personal trackers (TR101 and TR102)


Globalsat produce one of the thinest BT GPS devices
Globalsat produce one of the thinest BT GPS devices

Globalsat produce one of the thinest BT GPS devices
Globalsat produce one of the thinest BT GPS devices

Globalsat
Globalsat's latest GSM GPS Tracker

Globalsat
Globalsat's latest GSM GPS Tracker

Horizon Navigation Inc


Horizon Navigation running on a PC laptop
Horizon Navigation running on a PC laptop

Lutz enjoys a long discussion with Horizon who display a navigation system available on multiple platforms. One of note for the UK is the Advent brand sold in PC World.

It is good to see that more navigation system vendors are supporting the PC platform, which is used often in RVs and trucks. A challenge here is to present the data in a clear an non-confusing way. As you can see from the screenshots the map display is a bit too crowded to be useful. Thanks to the flexibility of the Horizon engine this can be changed quickly.


Horizon Navigation running on a PocketPC
Horizon Navigation running on a PocketPC

Horizon Navigation getting the Lutz treatment
Horizon Navigation getting the Lutz treatment

Horizon Navigation on Advent branded hardware
Horizon Navigation on Advent branded hardware

Transplant rebrand Emtac to Rightway


The new Rightway Bluetooth GPS Datalogger
The new Rightway Bluetooth GPS Datalogger

The Transplant booth had a lot of new products these have been branded as Rightway in preference to the Emtac name that launched the original Bluetooth GPS devices.


The new Rightway Bluetooth GPS Datalogger
The new Rightway Bluetooth GPS Datalogger

The new Rightway Bluetooth GPS Datalogger
The new Rightway Bluetooth GPS Datalogger

Holux present the new personal tracker, photo datalogger and SatNav devices


The new Holux Personal tracker
The new Holux Personal tracker

Holux always have a strong presence in both America and Europe. This year we see them presenting a couple of new dataloggers, and a wrist mounted personal tracker. We also saw the GPS Smile 61 SatNav, claimed to be the thinest PND in the world.


The new Holux Personal tracker
The new Holux Personal tracker

The Holux GPS Smile 61 slim PND
The Holux GPS Smile 61 slim PND

The Holux GPS Smile 61 slim PND
The Holux GPS Smile 61 slim PND

The Holux photo datalogger
The Holux GPS photo datalogger

The Holux GR-510 datalogger
The Holux GR-510 datalogger

The Holux photo datalogger
The Holux GPS photo datalogger

The Holux datalogger
The Holux GPS datalogger

Wonde Proud show SPT100 Smart Personal Tracker


SPT100
SPT100

The SPT100 has the usual tracker functionality (GPS plus GSM/GPRS modules) but it also comes with a four line display and an extended battery version. The device has 4 MB of flash memory for on board data logging (around 100,000 positions), a 3D Accelerometer motion sensor (to provide motion alarm)

The SPT100 is targeted at kids and other people that may have the need to call for assistance, and it includes a fully functioning mobile phone that can be used either for a normal call or for voice wiretapping.


Both basic and extended battery versions of the SPT100
Both basic and extended battery versions of the SPT100

Mike and Monica at the Wonde Proud stand
Mike and Monica at the Wonde Proud stand

Remote control with touchpad for PC or Windows CE use
Some other devices of interest - Remote control with touchpad for PC or Windows CE use

 

NavNGo delaying iGO 8 rollout until CeBIT


Leon van de Pas with some unidentified bloggers
Leon van de Pas with some unidentified bloggers

We had some very good discussions with Leon van de Pas, NavNGo's CEO about the events of 2007 and the challenges ahead for the shooting star of the navigation scene. NavNGo now have 180 employees (they had about 40 when Leon was hired) and they are working on 35 different OEM projects, including many big names in the car manufacturing industry.

The iGO software as we consumers know it only makes up a very small part of their business, the vast majority of NavNGo's revenue and effort goes into the corporate and OEM market.

Although NavNGo showed some well working prototypes of the "final" iGO 8 product, they have decided not to release it in the current state. Being part of the beta testing for iGO 8 I can only applaud them for that. Trust me, iGO 8 is worth the wait.

Bug Labs show the BUG - the "LEGO of gadgets"


The BUG base module
The BUG base module

One of our first stops today was at the Bug Labs booth. The guys there showed us a modular system that looked very interesting. The BUG has a Linux based "mainframe" into which you can plug various modules, such as a display (with touchscreen), a GPS receiver, a camera, a motion sensor, a cell phone module etc.

The device is based on open source, and that does not just extend to the software - the hardware is open source too, and everybody can create their own modules. Modules can also be plugged in and out while the system is running.

Bug Labs provide a Linux SDK for the device, as well as some prebuilt software modules. So you can just use what's there, or you can implement your own wicked idea - for example send a picture with GPS coordinates via SMS if the device came to a sudden stop...


Camera module
Camera module

The GPS module
The GPS module

The motion sensor
The motion sensor

The base module loaded with two displays
The base module loaded with two displays

The main developer of Bug Labs creating some software modules on the fly
The main developer of Bug Labs creating some software modules on the fly

The BUG running with two screens
The BUG running with two screens, Qtopia on the top one , X on the bottom one

       

Garmin show 2 new Satnav systems and a new Forerunner


The new Garmin Nuvi
The new Garmin Nuvi

Garmin previewed 2 new nüvi Satnav systems at the Pepcom Tailgate party in Las Vegas. The nüvi 880 will become the top of the range system for Garmin and features Voice Recognition software enabling you to control your navigation device without removing your hands from the wheel. It also supports MSN Direct delivering real time information to your device. Click here for the press release and to comment

Also on display was the new Garmin Colorado, the newest handheld GPS. I didn't get much of a chance to handle it so I will get more info when we reach the Garmin Booth. Click here for the press release and to comment.

They were also showing a new very slim forerunner 405, which is barely bigger than my Polar HRM Watch and a good deal smaller than my dive computer.

We will get more information on these devices when we visit Garmin later this week.


The new Garmin Nuvi
The new Garmin Nuvi

The new Garmin Colorado
The new Garmin Colorado

The new Garmin Forerunner 405
The new Garmin forerunner 405

The new Garmin Forerunner 405
The new Garmin forerunner 405

Qualcomm show new phone prototypes at Pepcom


The Qualcomm Odessey
The Qualcomm Odessey

The guys from Qualcomm didn't know what resolution is on their new HSDPA slider phone, so we were nice enough to show them. See? 800x480 pixels, and supposedly 18bit color (normal Pocket PCs only have 16bit color).

The device looks a bit like the Jesus phone, but has a better screen resolution and a keyboard. We didn't appreciate all the features yesterday so we'll have to make an effort to go back to their stand today to play with it some more.

The other device that Qualcomm was pitching was a rather unimpressive PND - their GPS software looked strangely familiar, and it turned out to be Odyssey Mobile. Very interestingly the "About" screen mentioned that it is based on NAVIGON technology. Go figure...


The Qualcomm high res communicator
The Qualcomm high res communicator

The Pepcom Tailgate Party


The Pepcom digital experience tailgate party
The Pepcom digital experience tailgate party

There is nothing like the promise of free food and drink to get media types rushing to an event. The Pepcom media event was held in Caesar's Palace ballroom and was host to about 100 companies displaying their latest products.

After traveling for about 18 hours to get to Las Vegas and a time difference of 8 hours I was pretty tired, but these events help to focus on specific new products rather than ranges or existing products. And as the event only lasts 3 hours it is generally not as slick as the main Expo.

As far as entertainment goes the event was themed around a US Football Tailgate party, with lots of Football styled props, and of course referees and cheerleaders. There was also an incredible ice bar that was so pristine I thought it was made of perspex.


Cheerleaders at the Pepcom digital experience tailgate party
Cheerleaders at the Pepcom digital experience tailgate party

The ice bar at the Pepcom digital experience tailgate party
The ice bar at the Pepcom digital experience tailgate party

The Pepcom digital experience tailgate party
The Pepcom digital experience tailgate party

 

References

Manufacturers Website

 

Pocket GPS Contributor

Mike Barrett, Maft Morley, Lutz Bendlin

Pocket GPS Contributor Website

www.Pocketgpsworld.com

   

 

 

Comments ?

Have any comments about this review ? Post them here.

CamerAlert Apps



iOS QR Code






Android QR Code







© Terms & Privacy

GPS Shopping