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Stuff 2007 and Navteq Roadshow

Date 4th November 2007

The annual Stuff Show is held in conjunction with What HiFi Magazine in the Novotel Hammersmith, London. This year was slightly different in that one of the show sponsors was Navteq, who also held a closed group roadshow for retailers, press and the navigation industry.

 

The Stuff Show has always been one of my favorite expos as it combines all sorts of gadgets and gizmos with of course a good spread of SatNav systems. This year was no different from the past, and as usual it was combined with the What HiFi show over four floors of the hotel.

 

I must confess that for the first time I was not overly impressed with HiFi, TV and gaming side of the show. This could be because I already have a great TV with HD DVD and of course a Nintendo Wii (not that I get a chance to use it much). What was really missing for me was an HD DVD writer for my Apple Mac.

 

Article by Mike Barrett

 

 

Click on the images for larger pictures.

 

Navteq Navivision Roadshow

Navteq were one of the sponsors of the show, but they did not have a stand in the public area of the show. Instead they held a VIP invitation only event. This was the Navteq Navivision roadshow which has been doing a tour within Europe this summer.

 

“NAVTEQ’s aim with its Navivision events is to help retailers understand more about the satellite navigation market and to network with colleagues from both the retail and manufacturing sides of the business,” explained Serge Bussat,  Vice President and General Manager, NAVTEQ Consumer Applications Europe.  “Similar events held around Europe have been extremely popular and the format has now proved equally successful in the UK.”

 

There were 3 presentations in the formal side of the meeting. The first was presented by Malcolm Edwards Sales Director Navteq Northern Europe.

 

Malcolm gave us a lot of stats including the following:

 

Stuff Show 2007

Malcolm Edwards Navteq Sales Director

71.2% prefer portable navigation solution.

In the last 2 years we have moved from 10 to 100 brands in the SatNav arena.

In the UK we will have 3,000,000 sales a 50% increase over 2006.

50% of SatNavs are entry level systems.

42% want detailed POI data

78% want traffic data

70% need speed camera information

63% want to use navigation as a pedestrian.

 

Throughout the world there are 10 companies developing mobile solutions, 15 creating PND software, 75 Geo developers, but a massive 800,000 LBS developers... Which conveniently led into a description of Discover Cities:

 

Discover Cities is an interesting concept moving maps beyond the normal street navigation. It features vastly enhanced mapping with lots of new attributes (such as pedestrian crossing points, and paths through parks) but even better it integrates multi-modal navigation. Not only are the maps updated to include walking routes they also have rich content added and there is an awareness about different methods of travel. The rich content comes in the form of timetables and public transport exchange locations. This allows a trip to be planned taking into consideration a number of different modes of travel, and is able to analyse and discover the quickest route from A-B. This, of course, all works fine if the public transport is on time, but when does that ever happen?

 

The second speaker was Mike Short, VP of R&D for O2. Mike gave us some stats like 1 billion text

messages sent per week, or more interestingly that by the end of the year there will be more GPS enabled phones than PNDs. There were also interesting little snippets like China has 500,000,000 cell phones whilst India has 200,000,000 incredible numbers, also there are more phones in the UK than there are people!!!

 

Mike was very enthusiastic about the Apple iPhone which is about to be launched on the O2 network with connectivity to over 7200 WiFi hotspots and the developer's API being opened up lots of rich content applications will soon be coming. Unfortunately the iPhone does not come with GPS capabilities so developers of LBS solutions will have to use a BT GPS.

 

The trend towards Mobile data and the reduction in costs of the data is leading a move towards Web2.0 applications and is the enabler for Geo Blogging and other LBS Applications.

 

Stuff Show 2007

Mike Short VP R&D O2

Mike's visionary view of the future includes:

Connected Road Applications:

Intelligent Parking, being directed to a parking garage with spaces, and even being told where the spaces are.

 

Intelligent signs, giving directions based on traffic flow and congestion.

 

DVLC controls, knowing which vehicles are taxed, MOTed and insured.

 

Environmental Analysis, having sensors to report on the level of pollutants in the atmosphere.

 

Connected Car:

Only 1% of cars are currently online. Apart from Navigation other applications include:

 

Fleet Management, the ability to control your workforce movements, and also publicise to your client base.

 

Safety and Lone worker, monitor the movements of your staff and provide security.

 

Journey management, optimise your journey based on the current traffic and parking information.

 

Breakdown alerts, inform both the breakdown services and your company/friends of your situation.

 

Internet on wheels, for road warriors needing access to the web and email on the move.

 

Connected Health:

There are lots of opportunities to integrate GPS and Wireless technologies into health, including various medical alarms for people with critical illnesses, and the tracking or locating of people suffering from Alzheimer's or dementia.

 

Connected Learning:

Again the education arena opens up a wealth of opportunities including Field Trips, Navigation and Geocaching, Digital imaging with geotagging and then transmission.

 

The Future:

Mike sees the future opening up through faster connection speeds, Mobile TV, Web Access, Applications, the digital home and further social networking implementations.

 

The final presentation was provided by Matt Gibbs of GfK. GfK basically provide market statistics of devices actually sold to customers (rather than systems sold to chain retailers etc.). They track sales in 73 countries on all continents.

 

UK accounts for 25% of all sales in Europe (10 main countries) and we are still growing faster than the rest of the continent. Customers in the UK are early adopters and we are prepared to pay for new developments...

 

The Navigation industry is an important market sector accounting for over £400,000,000 in the PND market. There are 3 SatNav systems in the top 15 consumer electronics items in terms of volume sales (the iPod is top).

 

The last 6 months has seen an explosion in the wireless GPS systems which are expected to equal the sales of PNDs by the end of the year. This festive season is scheduled for 500,000 sales of GPS systems.

Stuff Show 2007

Matt Gibbs Consumer Electronics GfK

 

A comparison was made between SatNavs and Washing Machines. Not because they are similar, but because eventually the market will become saturated and will become a replacement market. Currently the sales of SatNav are on the increase, but sooner or later they will stabalise and there will be a small first time market and a larger replacement market. There are exceptions to this are the TV market where flat screens have dominated the market, but these introduce new technologies.

 

The Stuff Show 2007

Finally we come to the Stuff Show 2007. This year there were 3 SatNav companies and 2 accessory companies in attendance.

 

TomTom

TomTom had a stand in the centre of the hall, that I completely missed at first as I noticed Via Michelin, in fact I walked straight past the TomTom stand to get to the VM display. It was only a little later as I was fiddling with my camera that I realised that I had missed TomTom. Obviously TomTom realised this issue and had organised a rather unmissable oversized hand pointing the way to the visually challenged like myself.

 

TomTom had all the latest devices on display including the latest announced Traffic versions of the One, One XL, GO 520 and GO 720. They also had 10% discount coupons for all their PND range at Currys and PC World, along with direct sales at the show with the technology partner Micro Anvika.

 

Via Michelin

Via Michelin were showing the latest Version 7 software running on their range of PNDs. Apart from Bibendum Via Michelin had rolled out all their senior UK staff to the show. This was an excellent opportunity to discuss issues and queries with Stuart (very active on our VM forums).

 

Via Michelin were offering some great deals on the X970T European version priced at £169.00 a saving of £20.00 over the normal sales price.

 

Nokia

Nokia had a stand right in the centre of the entrance to the exhibition hall where they were displaying the new Nokia N810 Internet Tablet. In fact that was all that was on display at the Stuff Show.

 

This new device looks nice, and feels good, but with the brief play that I had with the phone/computer/satnav I found the controls not very intuitive and the whole experience was not ideal. In fact the guy who demonstrated the phone also had a few issues with the UI. I suppose that it is something you would get used to after a while, but being a WM5 user I didn't convert very easily...

 

On the navigation side the N810 includes integrated GPS and, not surprisingly, Nokia Maps. The Nokia Maps is the standard product which offers free mapping and routing but you need to pay to upgrade to Voice Navigation.

 

The N810 is based on a Linux operating system and has the capability to connect to WiFi networks as well as the cellular network. This opens up a whole range of connected applications. It also has a camera and keyboard, essential elements for social networking...

 

Maybe I can get over the UI in time and find that this device is the ideal social tool for the modern age.

 

HTC

HTC of course are the World's foremost manufacturer of wireless PDAs, having been responsible for many of the Wireless Carrier's products including the O2 XDA range and the T-Mobile MDA devices. Last year they re-branded and are marketing these devices under their own name.

 

I was most impressed by 3 devices that I saw at the show. The first was the HTC Touch. This is a mobile phone (PDA) which has a touch sensitive screen and interface similar to that of the the iPhone. The device looks sexy (can I say that??).

 

Unlike the iPhone that only works with finger control the Touch reacts to both finger touch and a stylus. This allows both course and precise data entry.

 

I saw the latest version of CoPilot running on the HTC Touch and it was most impressive. Unfortunately the downside of the HTC Touch for navigation is that it does not have integrated GPS so it would need to have an external BT GPS to accompany any navigation software.

 

The second PDA I liked was the HTC TyTN11. This PDA does have integrated GPS and it also has a slide out keyboard. An enhancement over the TyTN is that the screen now tilts at an angle allowing the device to sit on a desk and have a more visible screen. The TyTN11 features HSDPA technology which will allow download speeds of up to 3.6Mb, faster than a lot of broadband internet connections.

 

The final device from HTC is the HTC Shift. This is a novel concept as it is a dual operating system computer. This runs both Windows Vista and HTC SnapVUE (a system enabling access to critical apps without the full Windows system running). This does have an integrated GPS system so any Windows applications that are GPS enabled can take advantage of the onboard technology.

 

Obviously the HTC Shift is too big to fit into your pocket, but at 800g it is a light machine. It also comes with a 7 inch screen and a full sized(ish) keyboard. I have a Sony UX, and whilst I love the computer the 4.5" screen is far too small and I can never hit the right keys, and it still does not fit in my pocket... The Shift is a much better size so there is a possibility I might be converted...

 

Parrot

The Parrot stand seemed to be mainly boom boxes and Digital Picture Frames. They did have a number of car kits on display, but there doesn't seem to have been much development in this area in the last year.

 

Stuff Show 2007

TomTom points the way...

Stuff Show 2007

Stuff Show 2007

The Via Michelin stand was always busy.

Stuff Show 2007

Nokia's N810 Internet Tablet

Stuff Show 2007

The HTC Touch.

Stuff Show 2007

The HTC Shift

Stuff Show 2007

The HTC TyTN11

Non GPS items...

Well Stuff is about gadgets and gizmos, not just GPS, and there were some wonderful playthings there. For some reason I have lost a lot of enthusiasm for MP3 players and Personal Video, though I did get a Philips Portable DVD this year which has a slot for my iPOD Classic so I can play both my Video and Music. I prefer to play the music on my Bose SoundDock though stupidly I got a normal one rather than a portable one...

 

One of the main geeky gadgety stands was the Baylis stand, where the man himself Trevor Baylis was demonstrating a new wind up MP3 player. Isn't it ironic that we have now gone full circle: The original HMV gramophone players were portable(ish) wind up devices, now we have the latest Music Player which is a wind up device... Come on Trevor we need a wind up GPS receiver next.

 

I spent quite some time on the Canon stand chatting to a couple of the guys there with my Canon HV20 HD Camcorder in one hand and my Nikon D70 in the other. They were trying to convert me to Canon, a tempting proposition, but I have a heavy investment in Nikon lenses and accessories so that is not likely to happen, having said that I am very impressed with the latest Canon SLRs, and I do already own a Canon Digital Compact.

 

I think my favorite non-GPS gadget there was the voice activated Dalek. This was on the IWOOT "I Want One Of Those" stand and is a Gold Dalek. This responds to a number of voice commands. It was a bit difficult for the Dalek to recognise some of the commands with all the background noise, but it was great fun all the same. At £99.99

 

There were the Stuff Gadget Awards as well and it is a bit worrying to find that I actually own 2 of the top 5... They were ranked:

 

1. Apple iPhone

2. Leica M8 Camera

3. Tonium Pacemaker

4. Sony Vaio UX1

5. Nintendo Wii

6. Sony Ericsson W880

7. Shanling MC-30 Valve amp

8. Wattson Energy calculator

9. Sony Ericsson MBW-150 BT Watch

10. Apple iPOD Nano

 

The Apple iPhone is not even available in the UK and it still won with 36% of the vote...

Stuff Show 2007

The voice controlled Dalek. Exterminate...

 

Stuff Show 2007

Resting weary feet on the TomTom sofa.

References

Manufacturers Website

www.bestofstuff.co.uk

Pocket GPS Contributor

Mike Barrett

Pocket GPS Contributor Website

www.Pocketgpsworld.com

   

 

 

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