Wireless Systems Design

Bluetooth GPS Navigation System Directs Users

Many high-end vehicles come with in-car navigation systems. For those vehicles that aren't equipped with navigation, some companies have come out with impressive aftermarket systems. Instead of buying these systems, however, many consumers would rather be able to access navigation data through their everyday devices. Now, IOGEAR (www.iogear.com) is offering this capability. The company's Bluetooth GPS Navigation System allows drivers to receive map positioning data from satellites. It then delivers driving directions through Bluetooth-enabled mobile computing devices, such as laptops, PDAs, and mobile phones.

The Bluetooth navigation unit provides high position accuracy. The ultra-low-power design and long-life rechargeable battery give users 30 hrs. of continuous usage. These features also eliminate the need to constantly recharge between uses. Because it's small and lightweight, the navigation device can be placed on the dashboard or any other location that provides a clear signal to GPS satellites. Users also can carry the product with them as they walk.

The included map data covers the U.S. and Canada. It offers detailed street names and major points of interest, such as restaurants and parks. To allow users to easily find their desired locations, the navigation software gives detailed driving directions in text, graphics, and voice. The voice instruction indicates distance and turns. The software also includes convenient features like speed detection, alternative local-only routes, programming buttons on PDAs, a 3D display option, and trip-time estimation. To make sure that users have reception in congested urban locations or canyons, IOGEAR even offers an optional external magnetic antenna that boosts reception.

The GPS system is compatible with all Class 2 Bluetooth devices. The unit works with Windows ME/2000/XP with a minimum of 256 MB system RAM and at least 512 MB of free hard-disk space. For PDAs, users must have at least a 266-MHz processor with 64 MB main memory available. The device is compatible with Microsoft Pocket PC 2002 or later.

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