Technology

palmOne Offers GPS Capabilities


palmOne, Inc. is turning handhelds into personal and vehicle navigation solutions. The world's leading maker of handheld computers and supplier of smartphones this week announced GPS Navigator by palmOne. The Bluetooth technology-enabled navigator is paired easily with Tungsten T3 and Zire 72 handhelds. It provides users with reliable and easy-to-follow maps and directions based on the latest global satellite technology. With voice-guided turn-by-turn instructions, drivers using the GPS Navigator can now focus on driving to their destinations and not worry about getting lost or stopping to look at a map.

Navigation capabilities are quickly becoming more commonplace. No longer constrained to high-end cars and high-end devices, GPS technology is being added to everything from cell phones to standalone GPS receivers that track a child's whereabouts. As a result, sales of GPS receivers -- in handheld devices, cars, planes and boats -- are expected to reach $9.4 billion in North America by 2008, according to research firm Frost & Sullivan.

DOOR-TO-DOOR NAVIGATION. "GPS technology, which is exploding in popularity in Europe, is now poised to take off in the United States," said Jim Schwabe, general manager of palmOne accessories. "GPS Navigator from palmOne is another solution that can be easily added to the Bluetooth-capable Tungsten T3 and Zire 72 handhelds."

GPS Navigator is provided in partnership with TomTom, a leading provider of personal navigation systems and sophisticated GPS software. Special features include a wide array of street-level and highway maps for the entire United States and Canada, customized door-to-door navigation and voice-guided turn-by-turn instructions.

"palmOne and TomTom are natural partners because both companies aim to create products that are easy for our customers to use," said Jocelyn Vigreux, president of TomTom. "By working with palmOne, the handheld market leader, we are moving closer to our goal of making GPS navigation accessible for every driver and every car."

CAR COMPANION. The Bluetooth technology-enabled receiver sits on the car dashboard, where it identifies the car's position using at least three satellites. By communicating with the GPS receiver via Bluetooth, the palmOne handheld obtains real-time location information and displays 2D or 3D maps by TomTom. Using the handheld's high-resolution screen, these maps automatically show the receiver's (and hence, the car's) current location.

The GPS Navigator from palmOne will be available on palmOne's online store beginning June 11, 2004. The $299 product includes palmOne's Bluetooth GPS receiver, TomTom Navigator soft ware for the entire United States and Canada, a vehicle device cradle with windshield mounting bracket and recharging cables for the palmOne handheld and GPS receiver. By Jim Charos from CeBIT


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