Article by Lutz Bendlin
PowerLOC recently invited a group of editors from the best and most influential GPS and Pocket PC related web sites to visit PowerLOC headquarters in Toronto, Canada.
The invite was to meet with PowerLOC management and employees and to learn about the newly released Destinator 3 and other products that PowerLOC offers. This was to better understand how PowerLOC operates in the GPS market, the visions they have and to see how Destinator 3 has been put together. To the right you will see a photo of the Toronto Skyline.
The list of editors included our friend and colleague Enrico Pappolla from PocketPCItalia.com, Arne Heß from PPCW.net, Javier Aristegui from TodoPocketPC.com, Guillaume Perrotin from GpsPasSion.com, and finally our very own Lutz Bendlin from PocketGPSworld.com.
Yair Gaon, Executive Vice President of Business Development at PowerLOC welcomed us and gave an introduction into the history of PowerLOC and the products and services that are developed by this company.
Many of you may not know this, but PowerLOC not only writes Street Navigation programs for the PC and Pocket PC, but they also are very active in the tracking and AVL market. Tracking and AVL (Automatic Vehicle Locator) involves finding a person's location or a vehicle's location and then transmitting this information back to a central server from where the information can be collated and be used for decision making, routing vehicles, or even for safety. More recently this also includes two way communication between the tracked object (or person) and the central system. Above is a photo of PowerLOC's Canadian headquarters in Toronto, Canada.
World Trade Center
One of the most remarkable projects in PowerLOC's recent past was the participation in the debris removal from the World Trade Center site in New York's Manhattan district. We all vividly remember the events of 9/11 and the horror that entailed and we previously reported how GPS was taking part in the events after 9/11 in the following article. PowerLOC were one of many companies that added their support to helping clear the debris as quick as possible.
Shortly after the disaster, the New York authorities hired all the trucks they could get hold of (about 10,000 in all) and lined them up to transport the debris from the WTC (World Trade Center) site to the dump sites a little north of Manhattan. The authorities had a huge task on their hands, not only to accomplish the removal of the debris but to also worry about traffic congestion, material being lost/stolen from the WTC, and even human remains.
PowerLOC equipped all dump trucks with a Vehicle Locator, monitoring their routes through the city, alerting the central system when a truck didn't move or went off route. Thanks to the PowerLOC system, the number of trucks was reduced down to 3000, each truck had ten loads per shift as opposed to the initial four, the cleanup wrapped up three months ahead of schedule and cost only about 12% of the original estimate.
Another recent project that PowerLOC took part in was the equipment of Louisiana Police with Destinator versions for the Panasonic Toughbook used in police cars, and this has lead to the apprehension of a Police Killer because the policeman on the scene was able to transmit his location to his colleagues in the police helicopter overhead, and they were able to quickly reach the scene of the crime and help their colleague out and to spot the suspect in rough terrain.
The wait is over, and it was worth it. The folks at PowerLOC gave us a unique insight into the process of the creation of Destinator 3, of the people involved in making the product happen, and into the direction that PowerLOC is planning to take Destinator.
The good features of Destinator 2 are preserved, but there is also a whole load of new features that make Destinator 3 truly a new application, and a serious contender in the group of the leading PDA navigation programs.
The NavTech based maps are from Q2 of 2003, and they contain a very large number of POI's (Points of Interest) and PowerLOC have also created an online community to allow Destinator 3 users to share POI's amongst themselves, which should add huge support to the Destinator community.
PowerLOC are located in Canada, and have first hand experience with different cultures and languages. This reflects in Destinator 3 – the application is completely customizable. You can exchange the voice files, the text messages, and the icons to your liking. As a juicy detail it is worth mentioning that the Italian version comes with a male voice rather than the standard female voice, because Italian men are not willing to receive instructions from a woman, it's amazing how cultures differ across continents even in today's society. PowerLOC are establishing a user community website where these “skins” can be downloaded and also be submitted.
Dave has reviewed the new version of Destinator 3 for the UK market and we will be reviewing the same Destinator 3 for the North American market shortly. Whether you are just starting out in mobile navigation, or you are considering to switch from another product – you should definitely check out our Destinator 3 reviews.
The Destinator 3 European review is available at
The Destinator 3 Forum is available at http://pocketgpsworld.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewforum&f=9
PowerLOC's website can be found at www.destinator1.com
The trip to visit PowerLOC was certainly a memorable one and we would like to thank PowerLOC, it's management and employee's for allowing this to happen.