GPS Come in a format for all of us
Look in any retail catalogue right now and you will be bombarded with offers to buy GPS units. The sector has really hotted up, especially now customers can buy a basic unit for just over $200. A basic GPS makes it easy to get from A to B, they make your trip faster because you take the best route; your car will be more efficient on fuel economy; GPS provides you with an expected arrival time; but for me the most important thing is that GPS removes any headaches from getting somewhere you have never been before.Karl and I went through some of the many options for GPS on the market now. There are so many models, because there are so many customers with different demands for their unit.
Here are the ones we looked at:Magellan Cross Over - Seen at retail for about $1150 Four in one GPS Unit with Street Maps for drivers, Topographical maps (for bush walkers) and Marine gps for fisherman and boaters. But hang on, I said 'Four In One', well the Magellan has the ability to purchase maps of 4WD tracks and take the unit off road. Read more - Click Here Navman F10 - Seen at retail for $230 This is an option if you want to get from A to B, with a few popular locations (like carparks and petrol stations) pre-installed. Tom Tom RIDER - Made for Motor Cyclists - $799 This model is made for motorcycle users and is designed for ease of use and portability. It includes a touchscreen that is specially developed for use with gloves, is waterproof and includes a Cardo scala-rider™ Bluetooth® headset for in-helmet spoken instructions. Tom Tom XL - My pick - $449 RRP If you want a decent model GPS that not only gives great directional support, but also has a host of extra features like spoken Street Names (instead of just 'turn left in 200 metres!) then the XL from Tom Tom is a good choice. I find a screen less that 4.3 inches is too small for me, and this model allows has really intuitive touch controls. The best feature that has come to GPS is the live traffic up-dates. Under the new SUNA system of real time traffic up-dates, devices like the Tom Tom XL can receive traffic information on the fly via the addition of radio antennae (it retails for $150). Once on board the Tom Tom will be advised of traffic on your route and if it is going to slow you down by more than four minutes, it will plot a new route and give you the option to take it or stay on the current path. Have a read of their website on how they do this and the Australian locations where the service is active.
Humanware - Trekker Breeze - RRP $995 This unit is designed for people who are visually impaired and will assist them in navigating their local community. It features talking GPS directions that help users know where they are and where they are going whether on foot or in a vehicle. Users can record routes as they walk them with the assistance of sighted companions. Routes can then be previewed and activated for future use. We had a demo of the unit with the guys who import the product into Australia and the concept behind it is brilliant! Read more about it here
About Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown is one of Australia's foremost commentators on consumer lifestyle technology. He publishes, produces and hosts CyberShack, is Channel 9's technology expert, and hosts Life & Technology and 2GB and NewsTalk 4BC.
Charlie is able to communicate, educate and inspire a huge audience, without confusing technological jargon.
Life & Technology is on the air Sunday mornings at 10am on 2GB and NewsTalk 4BC.