Garmin has taken the wraps off the nuvifone, a phone with a strong emphasis on GPS and personal navigation. Because it will offer a constant connection to the Internet, this device will offer features not available in this company’s earlier models.
Garmin once made a line of GPS-enabled Palm OS and Pocket PC handhelds, but its upcoming device won’t be a smartphone. Instead, it will be a feature phone with its primary feature being, obviously, mapping and routing.
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Nevertheless, this all touchscreen device will still offer 3G data access, a web browser, and messaging.
It’s Definitely a Garmin
Customers familiar with Garmin’s nuvi line of GPS receivers will already be familiar with the nuvifone’s personal navigation features.
It will include preloaded maps of North America, Eastern and Western Europe, or both, and allow drivers to quickly find a specific street address, company’s name, or search for a destination by category using a built-in database of millions of points of interest.
Turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions will guide the user to their destination. It will also offer automatic re-routing.
The nuvifone will be Garmin’s first device to include Google local search capability. Users will be able to search for locations like "coffee shops" and Google will sort the results based on the user’s current location and relevance.
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In addition, this feature phone will include access to Garmin Online, an online service offering constantly-updating information such as real-time traffic, fuel prices, stock prices, sport scores, news reports, local events and weather forecasts.
Multimedia… with Some Mapping
The nuvifone will also includes some entertainment options.
The built-in camera will allow individuals to take a picture that will automatically be tagged with the exact latitude and longitude reference of where the image was taken. This phone will also provide direct access to millions of geo-located landmark and sightseeing photographs available through Google’s Panoramio picture sharing site.
Other multimedia functions will include a built-in video camera, and a player for MP3 and MPEG4/AAC files.
Garmin expected to release the nuvifone in the third quarter of this year. Specific details about pricing and sales partners will be announced later.
Additional information about this device is available at www.garmin.com/nuvifone.