Friday, March 11, 2005

New TomTom GO

3622853427551507TomTom has announced their TomTom GO 700 Satellite Navigation unit. It has a couple of new features over their previous products (previous post). This version has Bluetooth and a hard drive.

Bluetooth allows you to use the TomTom GO 700 as a hands free speaker phone for your Bluetooth capable cell phone. Also you will be able to access your phone book on the TomTom's screen. Also with a Bluetooth cell phone, the TomTom GO 700 can connect to the internet to get real-time traffic information. (This competes with XM Radio's navigation data). The 2.5GB drive, allows you to store many more maps on the device than were possible on the compact flash card of the TomTom GO 300.

The TomTom web site does not list when this will be available, or how much it will cost.

Last night I though of some great uses for the cell phone integration:

  1. Delivering maps - When entering an area where haven't been loaded or when updated maps are available

  2. Delivering firmware updates

  3. Auto tracking- GPS information can be sent to service to keep track of:
    • Distance, route and speed travelled

    • Vehicle locator

  4. Cell service feedback - Reporting dead spots in cell phone service to cell phone company

Actually, the XM's NavTraffic service could implement the first two features, if DVD based navigation units included a small hard drive. I am not sure if manufacturers would want to implement something like this. They have a pretty good market where if people want updated maps, they have to pay about $200 for the updated DVD, and they come up with an updated DVD every year. But then, if they were to use a service like XM NavTraffic, they could charge a monthly fee.

Also I wonder if putting a hard drive in a navigation unit could save some money for the auto manufacturers. Currently in my car, we have 3 optical drives. (CD player in head unit, DVD-ROM in navigation unit, and DVD player for video system.) A auto manufacturer could only have an one DVD drive. When a navigation disk is loaded, the maps and navigation software could be copied to the hard drive.

[via Engadget]

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