|Household penetration, U.S.||2009||2010||2013|
|In-vehicle navigation systems||8.1||9.1||13.6|
|Dedicated navigation devices||34.9||37.4||32.6|
|Total portable navigation systems||48.3||56.8||96.5|
|Total navigation systems||56.4||65.9||110.1|
|Per capita penetration, U.S.||2009||2010||2013|
|In-vehicle navigation systems||3.1||3.5||5.3|
|Dedicated navigation devices||13.3||14.3||12.6|
|Total portable navigation systems||18.4||21.7||37.3|
|Total navigation systems||21.5||25.2||42.5|
So far this year, these are the top 5 selling GPS models for 2009:
(Source: The NPD Group/Retail Tracking Service)
Nothing too shocking here. The less expensive, basic models sell the best, with Garmin taking the top 3 places.
I'm slightly surprised that Magellan's not in the top 5, since in many ways Magellan provides more features per dollar than Garmin or TomTom. Although given Magellan's lack of consistency in its product line and persistent customer service issues, it's not terribly surprising to see them lose market share.
Garmin's nuvi 260W has been moved to the "Discontinued" section of Garmin's website, but the company still provides regular firmware and map updates for the 260W.
Recent price drops have made the 260W more popular than ever, and it's currently the #1 selling GPS on Amazon.com. And with good reason - for close to $100, the 260W brings solid, reliable navigation, a 4.3-inch widescreen display, text to speech (speaks actual street names), and a large Points of Interest (POI) database of 6 million.
Wedding registry, schmedding registry! In lieu of a boring blender or cutlery set, Mikai Hart built his friend what has to be regarded as one of the coolest wedding gifts ever: a working, GPS-equipped global treasure hunt puzzle. Or, as he calls it, a "Reverse Geocaching Puzzle."
Built for a friend who was getting married and moving to France, the case will only give up its contents and open up when the GPS sensor registers the correct coordinates in France.
TomTom has released two new large-screen GPS units. Dubbed XXL, the XXL 540S and 530S both offer a large, 5-inch screen, IQ Routes, and text-to-speech. The 540S adds Advanced Lane Guidance and IQ Routes.
Neither unit is available for purchase yet, but Amazon is taking already taking pre-orders for both the XXL 530S ($279) and the XXL 540S ($299). Units are expected to start shipping November 15th 2009. $20 seems like a small price to pay for the addition of lane guidance and IQ Routes, so the 540S looks like a better buy while pricing remains this close between the two models.
We've already seen plenty of outdoor, rugged, handheld GPS units from the usual suspects (Garmin, Magellan, DeLorme), but according to manufacturer, Satsports is unique in that it's the first GPS to offer "true real-time interactive navigation for skiing, snowboarding, golfing, running, cycling and automotive enthusiasts in a portable, all-weather device."
Once you finish your outdoor adventures, Satsports can connect to your computer and sync the data with Google Earth.
Whistler's RCL-250 light and speed camera detector uses GPS to warn the driver of upcoming speed traps.
The device comes pre-loaded with a database of 6,000 known red light and speed camera locations. Database updates are issued monthly, and can be installed by connecting the detector to a PC (sorry, looks like no MacOS support).
I'm always on the lookout for new personal tracking devices, and Ekahau's new T301W looks interesting. Instead of GPS, this waterproof wristband uses Wi-Fi to locate the wearer's position.
Accurate to within a few feet, in many ways Wi-Fi is a better choice than GPS for use indoors or underground where GPS signals cannot penetrate. The company is says the device is well suited to hospitals, cruise ships, and museums. Of course, the tracker becomes completely useless when you're not within Wi-Fi range, so this isn't a good solution for tracking children and pets, or anything that might move beyond the reliable confines of Wi-Fi range.
I could see this being used at amusement parks to help parents locate children who have wandered off, or in hospitals to track patients. Priced at $60, it's relatively inexpensive.
Ford Motor Company thinks GPS technology could be used to alert drivers to pending danger, and help avoid accidents altogether. Official findings from the joint Ford-Auburn University research project will be presented next week, but company officials say researchers believe they have found a way to use GPS to act as an early warning detection system.