« September 2009 | Main | November 2009 »

October 21, 2009

Holiday GPS Sales Expected To Be Up 8 Percent This Year. Here's Why That's Actually Bad News For Retailers

Holiday GPS Sales Expected To Be Up 8 Percent This Year. Here's Why That's Actually Bad News For Retailers

According to a repot put out by the NPD Group, PND sales are expected to gain about 8 percent this holiday buying season compared to last year. That's the good news. The bad news is that average selling prices are down 25% this year, meaning revenue will actually fall 16 percent.

Continue reading "Holiday GPS Sales Expected To Be Up 8 Percent This Year. Here's Why That's Actually Bad News For Retailers" »

GPS U.S. Household Penetration

 Household penetration, U.S. 2009 2010 2013
 U.S. Households 117.1M 118.6M 122.9Mh
     In-vehicle navigation systems 8.1 9.1 13.6
     Dedicated navigation devices 34.9 37.4 32.6
     Smartphone/PDAs w/navigation 6.6 9.7 27
     Handsets w/navigation 6.8 9.7 36.9
     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
 U.S. population 307.2M 310M 318.1M
     In-vehicle navigation systems 3.1 3.5 5.3
     Dedicated navigation devices 13.3 14.3 12.6
     Smartphone/PDAs w/navigation 2.5 3.7 10.4
     Handsets w/navigation 2.6 3.7 14.2
     Total portable navigation systems 18.4 21.7 37.3
     Total navigation systems 21.5 25.2 42.5
* Source: iSuppli

What are the Best-Selling GPS Models This Year?

So far this year, these are the top 5 selling GPS models for 2009:

  1. Garmin nuvi 255W
  2. Garmin nuvi 205
  3. Garmin nuvi 205W
  4. TomTom ONE 130
  5. TomTom ONE 125

(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 nuvi 260W Review

Verdict: Good, Basic Reliable GPS with Text To Speech

Garmin nuvi 260W

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.

Review Highlights:

  • Easy to use GPS provides solid, basic navigation at bargain pricing
  • Speaks actual street names (text to speech)
  • Discontinued model, but still gets regular firmware / map updates from Garmin

Continue reading "Garmin nuvi 260W Review" »

October 19, 2009

Man Builds Ultimate Wedding Gift. Creates Geocoded Treasure Chest

Reverse Geocaching Puzzle

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.

Continue reading "Man Builds Ultimate Wedding Gift. Creates Geocoded Treasure Chest" »

October 18, 2009

TomTom Goes XXL, Releases 5-Inch Screen Equipped GPS Models

TomTom Goes XXL, Releases 5-Inch Screen Equipped GPS Models

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.

October 16, 2009

Satsports Rugged All-Weather GPS Helps Golfers, Cyclists, and Skiers Navigate, Re-Live Glory via Google Earth

Satsports Rugged All-Weather GPS

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.

Continue reading "Satsports Rugged All-Weather GPS Helps Golfers, Cyclists, and Skiers Navigate, Re-Live Glory via Google Earth" »

Red Light & Speed Camera Detector with Huge OLED Display is Probably For Serious Speeders

Whistler RLC-250 Light and Speed Camera Detector

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).

Continue reading "Red Light & Speed Camera Detector with Huge OLED Display is Probably For Serious Speeders" »

Tracker Wristband uses W-iFi To Locate You Indoors and Underground

Ekahau' T301W Wi-Fi Wristband

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.

October 9, 2009

Ford Looks To GPS To Help Prevent Accidents

Ford Looks To GPS To Help Prevent Accidents

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.

Continue reading "Ford Looks To GPS To Help Prevent Accidents" »