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TomTom Plus : Personalised navigation services from TomTom 10th March 2005

Article by Mike Barrett

 

If you have used TomTom 3 or TomTom Mobile you will be aware of TomTom Traffic. You will probably also be aware that TomTom have a number of different voice files including a few comic ones. Well TomTom have consolidated this and added a lot more additional features and have created a new service called TomTom Plus.

 

TomTom Plus is an Internet based based service which will work with all the current TomTom software which is mobile phone enabled. This includes the new TomTom GO hardware, TomTom Rider, TomTom Mobile 5, TomTom Navigator 5 and presumably TomTom Navigator for Palm.

 

Essentially there are 3 sections to TomTom Plus: Download Extras; TomTom Weather; and TomTom Traffic.

 

Download Extras

The Download Extras section of the TomTom Plus service allows you to Download Maps, POIs Product Updates, Voices, and Map Colours.

 

The Map Download allows you to get a specific City Map from the server. You can either download your city prior to your journey, or via GPRS when you are there. This could well be the answer to your vacation questions. Use the Major Roads of Europe to get there then download your destination map. Time will tell what the coverage is like.

 

TomTom Plus also provides a download POI facility. Interestingly they are providing "a comprehensive database of TomTom verified safety camera sites" will this rival the original PocketGPSWorld.com Speed Camera database? We will have to wait and see.

 

TomTom Weather

TomTom Plus now includes a weather report. This could help you avoid driving in potentially dangerous conditions. My wife is always worried about the weather, I don't really know why? As far as I am concerned: If my head gets wet it is raining!

 

TomTom Traffic

The final part of TomTom Plus, and arguably the most useful, is TomTom Traffic. Available in 11 countries throughout Europe TomTom Traffic monitors the traffic reports and analyses potential delays.

 

There are options available within TomTom Traffic to produce a route that minimises any traffic delay.

 

Free Trial

Anyone buying a copy of any TomTom 5 product will get a free 30 day trial of TomTom Plus. It is not clear if this will apply to users upgrading from previous releases.

 

Pricing and Availability

The TomTom Plus service will be available from mid-April. The price of the service is yet to be determined.

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Conclusions

For regular travelers the TomTom Plus service could extremely useful. The TomTom Traffic module will certainly be of value. Some TomTom Navigator 3 users say that they wouldn't want to be without it.

 

We haven't had a chance to use this service yet but we will produce a full article shortly, when the service is made available to us.

 

TomTom's official press release

TomTom Announces TomTom PLUS: New Personal Navigation Services

 

~ First of its kind portfolio of services delivers downloads and real time information directly to TomTom customers ~

 

CeBIT, 10 March 2005 – TomTom, a leading navigation solution provider, today announced the introduction of TomTom PLUS, TomTom’s personalised navigation services that will work across the entire range of TomTom’s latest products: TomTom GO 700, TomTom GO 500, TomTom GO 300, TomTom MOBILE 5, TomTom NAVIGATOR 5 and TomTom RIDER.

 

Building on TomTom’s already feature-rich navigation devices, TomTom PLUS will offer easy to use and easy to set up services to improve safety, enrich the navigation experience with new destinations and Points of Interest (POI). It will also offer a unique personalisation of TomTom products.

 

TomTom PLUS services will allow users to receive real-time traffic and weather information, as well as download navigation voices, city maps, points of interests and safety camera locations.

 

“TomTom PLUS will change the way people use navigation,” said Harold Goddijn, TomTom’s chief executive officer. “This is the first time such an easy to use and complete package of navigation services is available to consumers. With TomTom PLUS, navigation has become even more fun, safe, personal and enjoyable.”

 

“In order to access the TomTom PLUS services, users only need a GPRS enabled mobile phone and a TomTom device,” continued Goddijn. “All content and services are delivered directly to the device via a Bluetooth connection easily enabling customers to access traffic and weather information or download new voices and maps.”

 

Traffic & weather information

TomTom has partnered with local data suppliers in 11 countries to get fast, reliable and comprehensive information on traffic congestions. TomTom users will know about road accidents, tailbacks and heavy congestion earlier than any other source. The Traffic service is completely integrated with TomTom navigation products offering a complete insight in the current traffic situation before the journey starts. The service estimates delay and includes the options to re-plan routes to minimize traffic delays.

 

In addition, weather reports on destinations will ensure road-users to avoid hazardous and potentially dangerous routes. TomTom PLUS real-time traffic and weather information is delivered to the new TomTom GO range, TomTom RIDER, TomTom NAVIGATOR 5 via a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone with GPRS functionality that connects to all Bluetooth enabled devices, such as TomTom GO range. TomTom MOBILE 5 users will receive TomTom PLUS real-time traffic and weather information directly to compatible phones.

 

Safety cameras

To encourage road safety, TomTom also provides a comprehensive database of TomTom verified safety camera sites, indicating areas with speed limits, adding to a safer environment. The sites have been carefully checked in the field by TomTom and are integrated in the navigation view of a TomTom device. It will warn drivers through a proximity warning indicating an upcoming speed camera. This service will initially be launched in the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Belgium.

 

Points of interests (POIs)

Complementing the thousands of POIs already available with TomTom products, TomTom PLUS will enable POI alerts that give customers an audible warning as they approach to guarantee they never miss a gas station for example. TomTom POIs are now also available for download onto a customer’s TomTom device to help make POIs as personal as possible.

 

Navigation voices

With TomTom’s voice service, customers can find the voice that best suits their navigation requirements or just to add some variation, entertaining their friends and having some fun. Now, users can download and install different voices from a selection of voices in three languages (English, Dutch and German) and more will be added soon, including celebrity and cartoon characters voices.

 

City maps

Planning a weekend trip to a city anywhere in Europe is now easier than ever, even if you don’t have a country map of your destination. Before visiting a new country, TomTom customers can simply go to the TomTom PLUS portal, select their region and download a city map of their choice or do it in real time via a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone with GPRS.

 

New TomTom PLUS portal

TomTom users can now access the TomTom PLUS online portal from the main website, www.tomtom.com, and download additional content to use on their navigation devices.

 

The TomTom PLUS website has a community section to allow users to store and share journey experiences, photos, points of interest, and much more with other TomTom users.

 

Free Trial

Any customer that buys a TomTom 2005 product will be able to trial a selection of services on a 30 day free trial basis. The trial can be activated directly from their new TomTom device via a Bluetooth enabled mobile phone with GPRS functionality.

 

Pricing and Availability

TomTom PLUS services will be available from mid-April 2005 when the new products are expected to hit the stores. TomTom PLUS services can be purchased via the TomTom website (www.tomtom.com) separately or as a one-stop shopping bundle including a selection of services. Prices for the services and the bundle ranges will be unveiled in mid-April.

 

 

 

Resources

Manufacturers Website www.tomtom.com
Pocket GPS Contributor

Mike Barrett

Pocket GPS Contributor Website

http://www.1st-ventures.com

   
   

 

 

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