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Navman announce Navman Mobile Travel Assist

Date 30th August 2006

Article by Tim Buxton

 

A couple of weeks ago I attended a Navman Press Briefing with Mike Barrett, where Navman unveiled a new navigation software application for Symbian S60 devices, along with two new Bluetooth receivers. Both receivers are SiRFStar III which should ensure rapid and strong satellite reception.

 

The Navman B20 Bluetooth GPS

To the right below is the B20 which contains no battery. Instead it plugs directly into the accessory socket of a vehicle. If, like me, you have more than one socket then you can leave it plugged in and have an almost instant fix.

 

Whilst positioning may have been a problem in the past, SiRFStar III receivers are good enough to acquire a signal inside buildings, so using the lighter socket shouldn’t be a problem.

 

If you own a car with a coated windscreen then dont worry if the signal cannot get to the car lighter socket then you can add an external antenna and position it where there is good signal reception.

 

The Navman B10 Bluetooth GPS

The second bluetooth GPS shown at the bottom on the right is the B10, a more traditional device using a HX-N3650A battery as its power source.

 

This has a mini USB socket for charging via a suitable PC and a 12V adapter to accept power from an accessory socket via the supplied USB lead. Battery life is a claimed 10 hours.


Although we have seen and touched these devices we have yet to put them through thier paces and see how they really perform.

Navman Mobile Travel Assist

Now, nearly every mobile sold today has a built-in camera and so Navman have implemented their NavPix™ technology for this product. This is an advancement on the technology as used on the Navman iCN7xx series, in that you can take a picture and send it to someone else via MMS and if they have a similarly equipped mobile then they can see where the picture was taken and navigate to it, assuming they have the correct map. Talking of maps, Navman have chosen NAVTEQ to supply the mapdata for the S60 Edition.

 

Navman have entered into partnerships with a number of Over The Air (OTA) providers to realise the full potential of the package. For instance, POIs are provided by NAVTEQ, WCities will provide detailed information on thirty or so categories worldwide, including hotel accommodation, restaurants and cinemas.

 

Real time traffic information is supplied by ARC Transistance which collects data from Automotive Clubs across western Europe and OAG will supply airline flight information and flight status.

 

Navman Press Release

The following is the official Press Release from Navman:

 

Making Your Mobile the Definitive Travel Device


Navman’s innovative mobile phone package, features NavPix™, plus wireless content services

 

LONDON, August 30th 2006 – Navman, pioneers in navigation, announce the Mobile Travel Assist, S60 Edition, a new GPS navigation and content solution for mobile phones. This comprises the latest SmartST™ Mobile software - S60 Edition on a memory card - and a Bluetooth GPS receiver. Once installed on a mobile phone, the S60 Edition software enables a unique technology called NavPix™ that allows customers to navigate to photos taken with their phone. In addition, the S60 Edition combines navigation on the phone with access to valuable travel related content.

 

Navman’s new NavPix™ technology sets this offering apart from the competition. Using NavPix™ you can take photos of locations you know with your cameraphone, or receive photos of places you would like to visit via MMS and navigate to them using the geographical data attached. So for instance, if you find yourself in a great restaurant or bar, simply take a NavPix photo of the venue using your cameraphone – you can then text it to another Navpix enabled phone and, using the S60 Edition’s navigation capabilities, the user can then be directed straight to you.

 

The S60 Edition software was developed in cooperation with the “best of breed” travel related content publishers. The wireless content services integrated within the S60 Edition include; traffic, flight information, and detailed descriptions of venues such as restaurants and clubs. Western European maps and over 1.25 million Points Of Interest (POI’s), ranging from petrol stations to banks and hospitals, are provided by a world leading digital map provider, NAVTEQ. Detailed information such as hotel accommodation, restaurant reviews and menus plus 30 other categories of services from venues worldwide are also available from Wcities. Fraser Campbell, President Wcities, states, “We also frequently provide photographs of the venue, in addition to our content, and have decided to use NavPix enabled phones to captures these images.”

 

Real-time traffic reports are available throughout most of Europe. European traffic is provided by ARC Transistance which collects traffic information provided by the most notable automotive clubs across Western Europe. Local traffic information is updated every 10 minutes and is available with a single click on the menu. The GPS receiver identifies your exact location, and local road construction, accidents, or just slow traffic is presented on the map with tabular descriptions regarding the situation - thus allowing users to navigate around such problem spots or make better use of their time.

Other services include airline flight information from OAG, the world’s largest independent publisher of airline schedules and flight status information. Airline travellers may look up flight schedules and status. Should an alternate flight be required, the application not only provides flight schedules for any destination in the world, it will also offer appropriate flight schedules at alternate airports in the area as well. Isobel McKenna, OAG VP Business Development states “There is such synergy between travel and mobile that mobile is an obvious channel for distribution of our content. We chose to work with Navman due to the fact that S60 was designed with data services first and foremost in mind”

 

The combination of Navman technology and Over-The-Air (OTA) access to the most current travel content allows customers to locate the best rated establishments, review details, and determine where they are on the map. Once the destination of choice is selected, the software provides voice guided navigation to the exact location. Once there, just take a picture with your phone and send it to other Navman customers to let them know where to meet and how to get there.

 

Prash Vadgama, President of Navman’s Land Navigation Group said, “This mobile phone solution is an extremely exciting development for Navman. It offers our advanced NavPix™ technology combined with a broad portfolio of position related information, providing local knowledge at your fingertips.”

 

All that is required to use the S60 Edition is a Symbian Series 60 phone, Bluetooth GPS receiver, and the software on a memory card. A choice of GPS receiver and memory card are provided with the purchase. Two GPS devices are offered, the Navman B10 and B20. Both Bluetooth receivers contain the latest SiRF Star III technology, ensuring a consistent and faster GPS signal, and communicate with Bluetooth enabled mobile phones. Two cards are available as well, 512MB and 1GB storage capacity. 512MB cards come with local country maps on the card along with the software, whereas the 1GB cards have all of Western Europe pre-installed. The application automatically installs when inserted into the phone. S60 Edition runs on most Nokia phones based on the Symbian Series 60 operating system. Go to www.navman.com for a complete list of applicable phones. An optional car mount is also available and may also be purchased at Navman’s website.

 

The Navman SmartST Mobile, S60 Edition will be available via major consumer electronics retailers, carrier channel partners and online at www.navman.com.

For a first glimpse come and see us on the NAVTEQ booth at Mobile Content World,
19 – 21st September 2006, Olympia, London.

 

References

Manufacturers Website www.navman.com
Pocket GPS Contributor

Tim Buxton

Pocket GPS Contributor Website

www.Pocketgpsworld.com

   
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