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PocketGPSWorld.com Event Article

The 3GSM World Congress from Barcelona 13th to 16 February 2006

This year, the world's premier mobile event is making 3GSM World Congress history with record breaking pre-registrations. 962 companies have signed up as exhibitors, showcasing their latest mobile products, services and solutions - a massive 40% increase from last year! 50,000 visitors are also expected in Barcelona.

And, of course, PocketGPSWorld.com will be there to report on the new innovations and products being announced at the exhibition. Not only will we be reporting from the show, but we have been invited by Navteq to judge the Navteq LBS Competition.


Created by Mike Barrett on Friday, February 10 @ 02:43:15 UTC

CoPilot Live FleetCentre wins the Navteq LBS Challenge

Well the waiting is over. The Navteq LBS Challenge winners were announced this afternoon by Winston Guillary (Senior Vice President) and Serge Bussat (Vice President), in a ceremony in the Poble Espanyol Barcelona.

There were 3 category winners and an overall winner. In the Entertainment and leisure section the award went to TikGames. The Social Networking award was scooped by Datatronics. And the Navigation prize was won by ALK.

The overall winner was the finalist who had the highest score awarded. This went to ALK for CoPilot Live FleetCentre Navigation software.

The picture to the left shows Winston with Mike Kornhauser, Dan Popkin and Serge receiving the Navteq LBS Challenge award.

Dan Popkin European Sales Director for ALK said: “The LBS challenge win is quite significant for ALKs business as it increases market awareness of the innovative approach we have taken to satellite navigation and tracking for the corporate as well as consumer markets”.

David Quinn the ALK Marketing Director told me: “We are delighted to have won this prestigious competition. CoPilot Live FleetCenter integrated with navigation makes sophisticated fleet management accessible to businesses of all sizes.”

Congratulations to all those who took part in the competition, I was impressed by all the entries. Unfortunately with all these contests there can only be one winner. It was an honour to be invited to be a judge by Navteq.

ALK Wins the LBS Challenge
ALK Wins the LBS Challenge

TikGames gets the Entertainment award
TikGames gets the Entertainment award

TikGames gets the Entertainment award
TikGames gets the Entertainment award

Datatronics wins the social category
Datatronics wins the social category

ALK are the overall LBS Winners
ALK are the overall LBS Winners

Article by Mike Barrett on Wednesday, February 15 @ 20:16:41 UTC

Benefon launch a new GPS device with mobile phone functionality.

In the Navteq Hospitality suite today Benefon launched TWIG. This is a new Mobile Phone with integrated GPS designed specifically as a navigation device with a mobile phone, ie Navigator first! More details to follow soon…

Quote from the Benefon Press Release:
“Benefon today launched the first of it’s new personal navigation devices. The first truly personal navigation device that can be taken anywhere and offer best in class navigation. Slim, small and light the TWIG Discovery is the only handset to combine world beating precision GPS navigation and GSM telephony. All mapping is on-board and with the ability to use off board services when required, no need for additional expensive GPS modules. One device ready to go out of the box. TWIG Discovery empowers everyone to enjoy navigation anywhere. No longer is full professional satellite navigation limited to in-car users. Brilliant TFT display with 256k colors for vivid 2D and 3D navigation, supported by voice prompted turn by turn instructions.”

Benefon GPS with Mobile Phone
Benefon GPS with Mobile Phone

Article by Mike Barrett on Tuesday, February 14 @ 20:32:04 UTC

Mio show the A701 PDA Phone with builtin GPS Software

Exhibiting on the Teleatlas stand was Mio Technologies. They have integrated a SiRFStarIII GPS chipset into a mobile phone with a 520Mhz Intel PXA-270 processor. The screen is a 2.7” TFT touchscreen, Connectivity is provided by both GPRS, Bluetooth and USB.

The whole package is nicely styled and comes with the Mio OEM version of Navigon Navigation software.

The Mio A701
The Mio A701 GPS PDA Phone

The Mio A701
The Mio A701 GPS PDA side view

The Mio A701
The Mio A701 GPS PDA Antenna

Article by Mike Barrett on Tuesday, February 14 @ 18:36:58 UTC

"Mobile TV is Cool" says Mike

Yesterday I was doubting the application or use of the Mobile TV. Today those doubts were shattered. I visited the Siano booth where I was given a demonstration of the capabilities of the Mobile TV.

Siano are a chipset maker who showed me a tiny low powered chip which decodes the TV signal and passes the data to the system to be displayed. The low power device is claimed to use just 20mw.

Although the systems demonstrated were in an ideal situation ie the transmitter was very close to the receivers the pictures were excellent running full screen on the PDAs. O2 are already trialling the system in London. There is already one company making some prototypes which were on display, and there is a rumour of a major European GPS company who will be integrating it into a PND to be announced around the time of CeBIT… Watch this space.

Mobile TV on iMate JAM
Mobile TV on iMate JAM

Full screen mobile TV
Full screen mobile TV

Mobile TV closeup
Mobile TV closeup

Article by Mike Barrett on Tuesday, February 14 @ 16:10:41 UTC

The Navteq Location Based Service Challenge

The NavTeq LBS Challenge judging is now complete, though the results will not be announced until the awards ceremony on Wednesday. There was a good range of products in 3 main categories: Entertainment and Leisure; Navigation/POI Lookup/Traffic; and Social Networking. There were some familiar names amongst the finalists, plus some new ones I had not heard of.

As a taster these are the finalists and a short description of the entry:

Entertainment & Leisure: CityNeo
Movingblog : the first mobile oriented map-based blogging application. The user can take a snapshot of his life and post it on a map.

Entertainment and Leisure: YDreams
MS4 Spooks: Mobile, based on the BBC’s hit series, is the mobile gaming experience that takes players underground in the midst of MI5 operatives, spies, international criminals and conspirators. Players join the game as secret service operatives and receive all sorts of time-sensitive mission briefings, which will have them following tips, tracking suspects, talking to disguised contacts, buying and selling the agents’ famous gadgets, solving puzzles and screening real city streets for criminals and crime locations. All the action happens on real UK maps, thanks to the cooperation with Navteq.

Entertainment and Leisure: Tikgames
A GeoCaching and Blogging application based on a java platform can use AGPS phones or phones with bluetooth GPS to georeference the blog/picture blog.

Navigation : ALK Technologies
CoPilot Live Fleet Management, the award-winning Satellite Navigation System for Mobile Devices that incorporates Live communications as standard, including Live Tracking, Messaging and Traffic Updates.

Navigation : Appello Systems
An off-board navigation system with POI lookup, traffic information, yellow and white page lookup, speed camera alert with an unparalled support for mobile handsets.

Navigation: Navigon
Navigation User Interface which reflects location based services as a dynamic location based content.

Navigation: Route 66
Door-to-door on board navigation for Symbian series 60 and series 80 smart phones Key product features: First on board navigation solution for Nokia Series 60 smart phones; Address search engine with SMS-like text input called fuzzy search; Direct dialing of point of interests; Largest geographic coverage: China, Europe, North America; Middle East; South East Asia; and South America; Add personal contacts as waypoint to your route; Fly like a bird over your route; Enhanced smooth mapping; Keep clear view on the road at night with night colours; Use GPRS connection to download up-to-data real-time traffic information (included no extra charge) for selective countries

Social Networking: Maptel
"Localizame" is a Telefónica Moviles service to locate people (mobile phone) with TME network. It has been developed by Movidream and Maptel. "Localizame" offers cell location in Internet and the wireless channel. This application taking care of the existing legal requirements in Spain for person privacy.

Social Networking: Web Integration
www.livecontacts.nl Know where you are Find what is nearby Get where you are going Share your location along the way Stay connected with people you care about Live contacts is the first GPS enabled service that brings you an array of features you can’t find anywhere else. GPS-enabled maps, directions, and points of interest. Let your friends and family know where you are. Live contacts allows you to pinpoint your location and find out what's nearby. You can also share your location with trusted people, view your location history on an interactive map, manage your address book, or have information on your contact’s whereabouts in maps available. Monitor your contacts presence information and connect with people on the go using chat, SMS, IM, email or phone. Using the associated Web site, you can allow other users to view your location on the Internet. Live contacts is a downloadable application for your GPS-enabled PDA. Live contacts is targeted at individuals and closed groups with active lifestyles who have a need for greater location awareness and communication between trusted family, friends and colleagues.

Social Networking: Datatronics SA
Microgestel® has been designed for Location, Security and Personal Assistance applications in mobility environments. Objective: permanent Personal Location and Inmediate Telephone Assistance by Control Center just by pressing a button. Applications: aged people, mistreated people, handicapped people, Security Forces, isolated workers from urban environment, etc.

A full report will follow later in the week.

The Navteq LBS Challenge Judging area
A good judge?

Article by Mike Barrett on Tuesday, February 14 @ 01:33:18 UTC

Assisted GPS

Everywhere I went today the talk was of AGPS or Assisted GPS. This is touted as being "super sensitive", "instant fix" and lots of other superlatives. Last year there was a demo of AGPS which was a cheat as the demo used GPS repeaters and was really just normal GPS indoors. This year it is claimed that the real thing has arrived. I must say that I haven't actually seen it in action yet, but I still have 2.5 days left to go...

Basically AGPS combines the reception of the GPS signal with acquisition of the Almanac data from a land based server. Ehh? Whats that I hear you say... Don't worry about the technicalities, basically what it means is that the exact positions of the GPS satellites is obtained from a server, leaving the GPS chip to concentrate on receiving the position data. This is of course achievable with a mobile phone over UTMS, GPRS, or even SMS as all of these can contact a land based server.

I was given the lowdown on this by GlobalLocate who produce AGPS chipsets for HP amongst others. Actually that is not quite correct as the latest product is a single chip, all that is required is an antenna to complete the package. And these are so tiny they get lost on a dime!! See the picture below.

Integrated AGPS and GSM module
AGPS and GSM module

Tiny AGPS chip and GPS antenna
Tiny AGPS chip

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, February 13 @ 23:24:22 UTC

Initial thoughts from 3GSM

Well my first day at 3GSM is nearly over. I am currently relaxing (working) in the NavTeq Lounge enjoying some coffee and chatting to some of the GPS industry specialists. The Location Based Services Challenge has been completed although the results will not be known until the awards ceremony (honest I have no idea who has won!!).

I did manage to sneak a few minutes out of the judging and had a quick look at the 3GSM exhibition. From the first looks of things I think that the main threads this year are: Mobile TV, Assisted GPS, and Java Applications. Now Mobile TV is of little interest to me as a Navigation specialist, but the later two certainly are.

Assisted GPS or AGPS is quite an interesting concept and can only be implemented if you have a connection of some sort to a server returning some of the data needed to precisely locate the GPS satellites. More of which later, but it is claimed that this can even provide indoor navigation.

Java applications well they are not exactly new, but there is now a good standard and there is a common platform allowing the development of navigation systems that will work on mobile phones, smartphones, PDAs, and I suppose PCs as well. Some of the NavTeq LBS challenge entries demonstrated this technology in action.

Tomorrow I will have more time to look around the exhibition and see what is really going on in the Mobile Phone navigation world.

The 3GSM halls
The 3GSM Halls

Poble Espanyol Navteq LBS location
Poble Espanyol Navteq LBS location

Article by Mike Barrett on Monday, February 13 @ 23:06:20 UTC

Arrived safely in Barcelona for the 3GSM week.

The build up for 3GSM left me without a plane ticket a week before the exhibition, and of course there were no flights left into Barcelona, except Ryanair at 6:10 AM no sleep for me last night. Ryanair fly direct to Girona Barcelona, Previous experience of Ryanair left me knowing what to expect, and indeed it was the case. Girona airport is nearly 60 miles from Barcelona.

Not too much of a problem as they do lay on a bus to the town centre. At least I got here on the day I was supposed to. I was at my hotel shortly before noon so will be able to grab a few hours shut eye before the Navteq LBS Challenge events start tonight.

Snow capped mountains outside Barcelona
Snow capped mountains outside Barcelona

Very early at Stanstead Airport
Very early at Stanstead Airport

60 Miles from Girona (Barcelona) to the city!!
60 Miles from Girona (Barcelona) to the city!!

Article by Mike Barrett on Sunday, February 12 @ 12:59:29 UTC

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