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CeBIT 2005 is over. Here is the PocketGPSWorld.com report

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 12:23 pm    Post subject: CeBIT 2005 is over. Here is the PocketGPSWorld.com report Reply with quote

Well CeBIT 2005 is over for the PocketGPSWorld.com team now. There was so much there that it was impossible for us to see everything that was available, let alone talk to all the companies exhibiting. There are 27 or so halls there and we only managed to visit two of the halls. Hall 11 was the main hall we frequented, and it just shows how mainstream GPS is as this was the GPS and Mobile Communications hall. Last year the GPS companies were scattered all over the fairgrounds.

Click here to read our full report.

Right in the centre of hall 11 and dominating the GPS section of the exhibition was the TomTom stand. All I can say is that I am glad I don’t have to explain the expenses of the marketing budget to the TomTom board of directors. It must have cost a fortune!

Main Themes.
This year apart from the flood of releases from TomTom, the big thing was integrated personal navigation devices. A lot of these systems seem to be based around a Windows CE .net platform and most come with a built in media player. Unfortunately most of these are being packaged without access to the underlying operating system preventing you from installing additional software. We have already seen a number of these hit the streets this year, but it looks like many more will soon follow. Manufacturers with new PNDs on display included Fortuna, SysOnChip, GlobalSat and LeadTek.

The other new trend seems to be mobile PCs. Again there were a number of companies displaying car radio sized computers, most of which had pop out screens. This of course means that you can have your favourite PC navigation software running and if you include WiFi you can download your email whilst in the Drive Thru at McDonalds, or in the car park outside the local Starbucks. This will really make a difference to off-roading with Topo products like Anquet, Fugawi, or Memory-Map. You can tell that this is now a mainstream as NavMan had one on their display.

All the “usual suspects” were there and also a few we had not seen before and we were able to make their acquaintance. NavMan, Garmin, Destinator, Co-Pilot, Navigon, Route 66, Wayfinder, and the newer entries into the market such as Navicore were all represented.

The two major mapping companies were there. NavTeq had their own stand which was host to a number of their navigation software partners. Whilst TeleAtlas took the other stance and had their staff present on the Navigation software companies stands.

The GPS hardware companies were spread around the halls a little and we had to search them out a bit. We did manage to find Holux, SysOnChip, RoyalTec, GlobalSat, Rikaline, Mitac/Mio and Fortuna, but did not find Leadtek (turns out they were in hall 23 with the PC components). Lutz had a quick look at some of the PDA devices on offer from HP and also from Fujistsu.

Let’s not forget the accessory companies. The mounting providers were there in force with Brodit, CarComm, Elan and Herbert Richter, plus many other smaller companies offering all manner of add-ons for your PDAs and navigation devices.

One of the more interesting parts of CeBIT is wandering around the Far Eastern exhibits. Here we find a lot of weird and wonderful devices, from TomTom look-alikes to dedicated Navigation systems that looked like oversized PDAs.

The final and possibly most interesting stand for our younger readers was the Gizmondo stand. Gizmondo are another company with a big budget. The Gizmondo device will be launched on Saturday 19th March in London.

Click here to read our full report.
Mike Barrett
Editor, PocketGPSWorld.com
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