CES 2006 was bigger than ever with events and vendors at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Alexis Park, the Las Vegas Hilton, and the Sands Expo and Convention Center. The following is information I gathered from the companies at the booths, or from the press kits.
By Terry Currier
See also overview of: Storage Video Projectors Navigation Preserving Memories Blu-ray & HD Flash Drives
Alpine Clarion Cobra Dual Fine Lowrance Magellan Mio Navman Navmax Pioneer Royal Sony TeleNav
Alpine Electronics www.alpine-usa.com
For those that are debating which to get a portable, or fixed navigation device they make both. The NVE-N872A is a DVD-based satellite traffic ready fixed navigation unit, and the Blackbird (PMD-B100), is a portable system with docking capabilities, both offer comprehensive mapping of the United States and Canada with turn-by-turn guidance that provides essential information so drivers can concentrate on the road. Additionally, both solutions run on the Microsoft Windows Embedded platform and offer integration options with Alpine’s AV head units with integrated monitors.
The NVE-N872A when paired with one of Alpine’s touch-screen AV head units, users can interface with the system and input data in three different ways: via voice commands, touch screen or remote control. This system also functions as a personal concierge with the Zagat Restaurant Survey guide. The optional satellite traffic data service provides drivers with options to detour around traffic congestion and accidents in major U.S. metropolitan areas. Suggested retail index is $1,700 (choice of monitors sold separately). XM NavTraffic or SIRIUS Traffic service subscriptions sold separately.
Blackbird can be used as an in-vehicle portable device and moved from car to car for ultimate flexibility. It also has MP3/WMA playback capability with its built-in SD/MMC card slot. When in the dock and connected to an Alpine in-dash AV head unit the audio and navigation functions are transferred to the Alpine in-dash monitor. Map and driving information are then displayed on the in-dash monitor, and driving instructions are played through the vehicle’s audio system. Traffic service for Blackbird will be available in late Spring 2006, (separate service subscription is required.) Suggested retail price is $750.
The N.I.C.E. P200 is an unique media player that can store and playback a number of video and audio formats on a 4 inch LCD screen, with built in GPS capability. The 20GB hard disc drive is split to allow 10GB of music, video, or photo storage and playback. It also syncs with a PC for contacts, address book and scheduling data via USB 2.0 . It is portable and with a rechargeable battery. Once stored with audio or video files, the user can select the “Photo” icon to watch a slideshow or select the “Music Playback” icon to play audio files through the existing sound system. Simple destination input with Touch-Screen, shows 2 Million Points of Interest, or instant recall of last 40 destinations. Users get Turn-By-Turn voice prompts, with automatic route recalculation.
Music storage and playback (MP3, WMA, WAV)
Video storage and playback (ASF, WMV, Divx, AVI and Xvid)
Cobra Electronics www.cobra.com
Showing the NAV ONE 4500™, Cobra is partnering with Clear Channel Radio and Tele Atlas to deliver up-to-the-minute information on traffic incidents, congested roads and construction zones in 48 major metropolitan areas across the country. The unit also provides the driver with rerouting options. A traffic antenna that simply attaches to the unit and moves with the unit from car to car. It features a five-inch touch screen. The unit includes 3D views, 14 levels of map zoom and exclusive terrain display, making it easy for the directionally challenged to find their way.
It comes pre-loaded with North-American street-level detail maps from Tele Atlas that provide personalized route preferences and give the driver the option to avoid or prefer certain road segments and select route criteria. Additionally, Cobra's exclusive Compare Routes feature allows users to visually compare routes and select a preference. Additionally, the driver can select multi-stop routing for any given trip. It guides drivers with turn-by-turn directions and clear voice guidance to a programmed address or one of the 7.6 million interest points, and categorized in nine general categories, and further sorted into approximately 200 subcategories. The system's address book stores up to 1000 addresses in 20 user customizable folders. Available at an MSRP of $1,100, the unit includes a three-month free subscription to the traffic feature, followed by a subsequent annual service subscription fee of $60.
Dual Electronics www.dualav.com
The new XNAV3550 (SRP: $799), features a bright 3.5” TFT LCD touch screen display and a pre-loaded map of the entire U.S. with nearly 2 million points of interest. The unit is upgradeable with additional maps and information through an included 1 GB SD memory card that can also be used to store MP3 files. An included on-glass suction mount allows it to be moved from one vehicle to another. The XNAV4300 (SRP: $850) is designed for portable GPS applications, and features a 4.3 inch touch screen LCD display, pre-loaded with maps of the entire US, plus search and guidance functions. It features a built-in Lithium rechargeable battery and an included DC charger. In addition to its comprehensive search and viewing options, and turn-by-turn guidance with voice and visual indicators, the unit also features a built-in speaker and MP3 playback capability. Both will ship in the second quarter of 2006.
The FineDrive 400 comes with a built-in 128MB internal memory, as well as an expandable SD memory slot. An SD card is included, with detailed street-level mapping of the 48 contiguous United States and Canada already installed. Mapping software is provided by NAVTEQ, and includes over 2 million points of interest (POIs). It has a four-inch color TFT LCD touch-screen display. Suggested retail price is $599.
The FineDrive 500 is a scaled model with a five-inch LCD screen. It features a 64MB internal memory and SD memory slot. An SD card is included with detailed mapping of four U.S. states (based on the user's geographic area). Full mapping for the 48 contiguous United States is provided on an included CD. The SRP is $499. Each comes equipped with a full set of accessories, including a suction cup mounting bracket, 12v DC power adapter, and stylus pen. Additional FineDrive features include:
JVC today announced its entry into the mobile navigation category the KV-PX9. It has a 3.5-inch TFT screen and an internal 20GB hard disk drive that allows consumers to access navigational information, play music and view movies and images. It dedicates 13GB of hard disc space to navigation maps and over 13 million points of interest (P.O.I). The remaining 7GB are available to store movies, music files, and pictures. Files are easily transferred using the unit’s USB 2.0 input or its SD card slot. Compatible file formats are WMA, MP3, WMV, ASF, AVI (320 x 240 maximum) and JPEG.
A voice guidance system offers a choice of three languages and a male or female voice. Two map views are offered: 2D – an aerial view, or 3D – a through-the-windshield view. The on-screen display includes current location street name and distance to next turning point. Touch-screen controls include day/night adjustment, brightness, zoom in/out and map scroll. Other features include destination memory and multiple route/re-route calculation options. The P.O.I. screen displays nearby restaurants, car rental locations, gas stations, hotels, parking and more. MSRP is $800.
Lowrance Automotive www.lowrance.com
Introducing the iWAY 350c with built-in battery power offering up to 15 hours of cordless navigation. It also has a full-featured stereo MP3 player incorporating a digital media card slot. While equipped with its own integrated speaker, it can wirelessly stream music and navigation voice directions through any open FM radio channel. Likewise, thanks to the media card slot, owners can view their travel photos by simply inserting an MMC or SD card with JPEG photo files. It has a 3.5” diagonal, 16-bit color TFT touch-screen display. Plus, the integrated 4GB hard drive is preloaded with NavTeq® turn-by-turn map data detail for the continental U.S. and Canada. Also included are over 5 million points of interest to easily find and navigate to fuel, lodging, dining, entertainment, and many more services. Once the destination is selected, it automatically displays the best route in a colorful pathway, while providing visual and voice guidance. Retail price is $499.
Want to get around heavy traffic? The Magellan TrafficKit uses traffic information from NavTeq to inform drivers of incidents that stop or restrict the flow of traffic and guides drivers around traffic jams to get them to their destination faster. Available in April 2006, the Magellan RoadMate 760 provides out-of-the-box, turn-by-turn, voice and text guided directions using a built-in map of North America on a 20 GB hard drive. It processes real time traffic information which is continuously transmitted over FM frequencies for major metropolitan areas and displays them in the unit's interface. This enables it to consider time and distance in determining whether to keep the driver on the same route, or calculate a new route when a faster alternative is available. In both cases, the system will update the remaining travel time and distance to the destination. Drivers can be notified of all types of incidents by default or can choose which types of incidents they want to see. Drivers can also gain more information on a traffic condition by touching the relevant road-sign icon on the map screen. The real-time traffic requires a subscription fee for live-information feeds.
For the sailors out there check out the MapSend BlueNav XL3 marine charts on Secure Digital cards. Based on Navionics Gold charts, it provides information such as tides and currents, depth contours, navaids, port services and more. Insert the pre-loaded SD card and instantly expand the capability of your SD card-compatible Magellan GPS receiver. Select the charts for the regions you plan to visit such as the Pacific Coast, Atlantic Coast, Gulf Coast, the Bahamas orthe Great Lakes.
Their eXplorist XL ($420) has a 3.5” color display with 30MB of available memory, SD card expandability, plus high-speed USB data port and MapSend® map compatibility. You can add optional topo maps for your outdoor adventure on the trail, street maps for turn-by-turn navigation on the road, and lake charts for your boating and fishing adventures on the water. It has a 3.5” display, with one-button access to all the key features. Want to find the distance between three or more points of interest that you plan to hike around or the area between them? Select the points of interest on the map and it will determine the area between them and the perimeter around them. It can even tell you how steep the trail ahead will be.
SiRFstarIII GPS receiver has fast, accurate navigation in challenging environments such as: dense forests, deep canyons, and cities with tall buildings. Larger icons and a bright display with a user-friendly touch screen make it easy to set your destination. While navigating, the integrated MP3 player can play music or audio books transferred from your computer for entertainment. Maps of USA and Canada are pre-loaded and ready to use out of the box, from Halifax to Huntington Beach. Clear voice instructions and user-friendly menus in English, French and Spanish.
The new pocket-sized and feature-packed iCN 520 new capabilities include:
Other standard features include address-to-address routing, a time-saving zip code search tool, the ability to pre-select areas to avoid, a handy town-to-town routing function, complete route summary, automatic and manual zoom for map detail control, Back-on-Track rerouting when off-course, and day and night screen modes. Comes with a 3.5-inch high-resolution QVGA, touchscreen display. It has an integrated flip-up GPS antenna, and houses a long-lasting internal Lithium-Ion battery for operating the unit without external power. Comes with a 256MB MMC memory card preloaded with a U.S. base map; a CD-ROM containing the latest street-level map data for the entire U.S. and Canada; a vehicle power adapter and mounting bracket; a stylus for quick and efficient data entry; a USB sync cable and power pack for PC connectivity; and a protective carrying case for convenient storage and travel. SRP is $500.
The new vmax501 features a 5 inch LCD touch-control display and all control buttons are luminated in blue. Primary controls include: Destination, View, Function, and Settings. Other controls include: Zoom-in, Zoom-out, Multi-Direction, Return and Power. Users may select from three viewing options (2D, 3D, or Turn-by-turn text) when using one of its configurable electronic maps (USA/Canada or Europe). Other navigation features include a volume adjustable Voice Prompt option as well as search by Address, Intersection, or Points-of-Interest. It will also continuously update driving distance and time while providing fast rerouting calculations when a street closure or heavy traffic forces an unscheduled turn or detour. The unit allows its user the option of interfacing its monitor to a DVD, Video or gaming system in or out of the car. It features a 1GB CF memory with regional maps of the U.S. (East or West) preinstalled along with back-up MAP CDs.
The Pharos Traveler GPS 525 is the first Pocket GPS to include WiFi, Bluetooth™, and Windows Mobile™ 5.0 software. It comes preloaded with the top 50 U.S. metropolitan maps and Skype for Pocket PC. It incorporates the highly sensitive SiRFstarIII GPS receiver. Powered by a vehicle's cigarette lighter adapter, but it also has an internal, rechargeable Li-Ion battery that provides approximately four hours of navigation use. The MSRP is $600. Features Include:
Pioneer Electronics www.pioneerelectronics.com
Designed for the commuter that demands products that multi-task the AVIC-N3 offers a trio of functions for a complete in-car information and entertainment experience. Suggested retail price is $1800 and comes with a limited warranty for one year, or two years for Premier Pioneer products.
Navigation: provides accurate detailed route guidance for the entire United States and Canada within seconds. The step-by-step route guidance is accurate, easy-to-follow and even provides detailed lane information at complex highway interchanges to ensure the driver is in the proper lane for upcoming turns. The TeleAtlas mapping system holds nearly 11 million points of interest in 248 different categories so consumers can search for the nearest gas station, ATM, or restaurant. When combined with the Pioneer GEX-P10XMT traffic tuner and a subscription to XM NavTraffic service, users can receive detailed traffic information to help guide them away from road closures and heavily congested roads. The memory navigation feature allows a driver to input a navigation route to memory and then remove the mapping DVD so the DVD slot can be used for entertainment purposes (CD or DVD for rear passengers). If a particular route is too long to be held in memory, the system will store the first half of the route and alert the driver when the mapping disc needs to be reinserted to save the second half of the route in memory.
Entertainment: Tri zone capabilities to separate front and rear seat entertainment as well as providing navigation information. Rear seat passengers can enjoy DVD video playback while front passengers listen to AM/FM/XM or Sirius Satellite Radio. Comes with MOSFET50 (50 watts X 4 amplification), three pre-amp outputs and three-band parametric equalizer. The monitor is a 6.5-inch motorized touch-screen. With an XM tuner, multi-line text displays show station, artist and song information. When connected to Pioneer's CD-IB100II iPod adapter, drivers can operate their iPod music player directly from the touch panel display. The interface looks similar to the iPod screen and enables search by play lists, artists, albums, songs and genres.
Vehicle Dynamics: For auto enthusiasts who want to check the performance of their vehicle they offer Vehicle Dynamics gauges. These gauges determine a car's performance in key areas including: acceleration, lateral G-force, angular velocity and slope. Drivers can monitor these key performance attributes in real time and perform peak holds to track a vehicle's performance.
Royal’s AmeriGo GPS Navigation System has the processing power and large memory capacity to equal or surpass expensive factory installed vehicle GPS systems. Navigon GPS Software insures pinpoint accuracy and a dedicated one-touch HOME key makes it easy to get home from almost anywhere. It can easily be installed moved from car to car in minutes. A cigarette lighter power adapter is included. Price is $596.
Under the nav-u™ brand the NV-U70 is Sony's 12-channel GPS receiver with proprietary RF technology. It has a full color, 3.5 inch touch-screen display so drivers can see the screen in all lighting conditions. An intuitive, touch screen control enables easy route planning and destination programming. A resident two-way speaker system ensures that voice prompts are clear and audible. It has 1GB of imbedded flash memory preloaded with maps of the continental U.S. along with more than 1.6 million points of interest. A DVD-ROM with maps of, Alaska Canada, Hawaii and Puerto Rico is also included. Updates to the mapping database are made by connecting the device to a PC's USB port.
With just two taps on the touch screen, users can access several programming features. The "home" feature recognizes the unit's location and maps the quickest route to the programmed home address. The "block road" reroute feature allows drivers to change their course and keep driving in the case of a closed road or traffic congestion. The screen has both day and night modes regulated by a light sensor that measures ambient light and gradually transitions between modes. It can be transferred between vehicles. The imbedded rechargeable lithium-ion battery allows up to four hours of operation outside of the car. Available in now for about $700 at www.sonystyle.com.
Drivers can now receive on-demand audible GPS directions from voice personalities and see their exact location on a full color moving map, with the launch of a mobile phone-based GPS navigation application. Voice personalities include Santa Claus, a New York City cab driver and many others. Customers can use it by speaking a destination into an interactive voice response (IVR) system, or by keying in the address on the handset. Once the destination is specified, a route is calculated and it provides real-time, audible and graphical turn-by-turn directions over the mobile device. For trip planning, users can also enter multiple destination addresses using the TeleNav website. The service also includes a Business Finder that can help users find nearby banks, restaurants, hotels or other businesses. They also automatically update mapping and business listing data, saving consumers time and money. The service is available starting at $10 per month.
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