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Tom Keating
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GPS - Global Positioning Satellites

WiFi and GPS to solve e911 issue

January 3, 2006

A few companies are leveraging both WiFi and GPS to pinpoint a location during an emergency, such as an e911 emergency phone call. How does WiFi wireless help pinpoint a location, you ask? Simple, it uses a similar concept to GPS - it uses a known set of WiFi Access Point (AP) fixed locations and triangulation of signal strength of several APs to determine a location. I should point out that Russell Shaw has been harping on using GPS to solve the e911 dilemma, especially on mobile phones, which IMO is only a partial solution at best.

Navizon Transforms Cell Phones, Wi-Fi Devices into A GPS Device

December 21, 2005

Navizon Transforms Cell Phones, Wi-Fi Devices into a GPS device and leverages P2P for locating your buddies. What I'd really like for this technology to do is use my idea of P2P GPScasting to transmit your GPS coordinates to others in your GPS network (opt-in) for more accurate traffic monitoring. I also wrote about GPScasting here in my GPScasting/roadcasting entry.

In any event, Cyril Houri, founder and CEO of Mexens Technology, announced the hard launch of Navizon, "the world's first software based, peer produced, wireless positioning network." Navizon is a software system which can be loaded onto a mobile device to provide its users with geographical positioning information plus many more advanced customized features. Navizon's innovation arises from the fact that its map is both created, and constantly enhanced, by the users themselves.

Bluetooth GPS problems solved?

November 1, 2005

I don't own a BlueTooth GPS receiver, so I cannot attest to the complexity or issues involved with maintaining a good connection between the Bluetooth GPS receiver and an end-user device, but this bit of news below seems to suggest it is harrier than trying to diffuse a nuclear bomb blindfolded. Nevertheless, I thought this bit of news merited sharing since I'm a huge fan of GPS technology and you might find it useful.

Socket Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: SCKT), an innovative provider of mobile productivity products, today announced enhancements to its GPS Nav Kit including: Socket's patent pending Connect!Agent software, new application features, updated North American and Western European map data and Windows Mobile 5.0 support. With the updated GPS Nav Kit, Socket now provides the best experience possible to users looking to add a complete, no-hassle cordless GPS navigation solution to their mobile device.

"The average Bluetooth user experience is full of complicated device and software setups, along with compatibility and security issues," said Donnie Wong, GPS product marketing manager at Socket Communications. "Our breakthrough Connect!Agent software greatly simplifies cordless connectivity and eliminates the hassles of managing multiple Bluetooth devices for a mobile user.

Garmin 7200 and Garmin 7500 StreetPilot GPS

October 31, 2005

Garmin has also launched two really huge StreetPilot models, the 7200 and 7500. When I say huge, I mean really huge - as in a 7 inch LCD screen for the Garmin 7200 and a whopping 7.5" for the Garmin 7500! I don't foresee either of these GPS models fitting on most typical car dashboards, I think it's probably too high and will hit the windshield. This may explain why they are pitching this GPS solution as "designed for larger vehicles such as RVs, semi-trucks, and buses, which tend to have less of an angle for their windshields and a wider dashboard as well.

It does have some cool features though. The 7000-series GPS models are WAAS enabled, an optional XM Radio, traffic and weather updates, and can play back MP3 files and books downloaded from

Garmin iQue M4 review

October 31, 2005

Garmin announced a few new GPS solutions today, including a new GPS-enabled Pocket PC called the Garmin iQue M4, which is similar to the Garmin iQue M5. Although I did not get my hands on the iQue M4 (yet), I thought I'd provide my insights since I have seen many GPS solutions and can get a good feel of the iQue M4 just from the feature specs. First, this is the first Garmin Pocket PC to come
pre-loaded with City Navigator North America NT covering the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. There's no need for downloads from your PC, although with only 64MB of RAM, you'll probably need to download maps if you travel to another area of the world. It also includes a built-in MP3 player that lets users browse music by artist, album, song, and genre and the music can be loaded onto an (optional) SD card.

TomTom supports Mapquest

September 28, 2005

TomTom is launching a GPS routefinder device for cars together with mapping web site Mapquest. TomTom said the Mapquest device would be a repackaged version of the TomTom Go 300 device. TomTom, whose initial public offering in May was the biggest in five years on the Amsterdam stock exchange, said the device, which will sell for $699, would help it expand its presence in the United States.

I should point out that first TomTom used TeleAtlas's map data (which is terrible in my opinion - at least the U.S. map data), then TomTom announced they would be using NAVTECH's map data (more accurate in my opinion), and now Mapquest.

Drooling over the HP iPAQ hw6510 and hw6515

September 12, 2005

Forget the Blackberry, forget the Treo 650, I want one of these babies! The sleek HP iPAQ hw6510 and hw6515 Mobile Messenger is probably the slickest, coolest looking combined PDA/cellphone device today. (wiping my gadget drool as I type this) Everything from surfing the Web, checking email, and yes making calls is just beauteous, eh?

It features an integrated thumbboard, EDGE, Bluetooth and an integrated GPS receiver.

Pharos EZ Road Pocket GPS Navigator Review

July 8, 2005

Ratings Score Installation Documentation Features Usability Performance Overall The Pharos GPS PEZ120 EZ 32 MB Road Pocket Navigator is a lightweight, portable (pocketable), GPS navigation system (click for full image) with an integrated GPS antenna and a color LCD touch screen display. Pharos sent me one of their EZ-Road Pocket Navigators for review. The Pharos EZ Road Pocket GPS Navigator comes with a cigarette lightor adaptor for keeping the Pharos EZ Road Pocket GPS Navigator charged as well as a USB adaptor for charging via the USB port modular connector for charging in your vehicle.

Pharos was nice enough to pre-load the Connecticut map, thus upon turning on the device for the first time, I was able to quickly lock onto a few GPS satellites and get a fix on my current location - took only about 45 seconds. The color screen was vibrant, bright, and easy to read, surprisingly even under direct sunlight.

TomTom Maps Update

June 21, 2005

TomTom finally licenses superior NAVTEQ GPS maps. I say it's about friggin' time! TomTom has one of the best GUI front-ends to any GPS navigation system, but the maps they previously licensed from Tele Atlas plain sucked. Sorry Tele Atlas, but it's true, your maps suck!


June 13, 2005

As a huge proponent of GPS I've complained to just about anyone who will listen that all GPS systems should incorporate real-time traffic conditions and use them to calculate the optimal route. And no, I'm not talking about real-time traffic conditions in just the major cities. That is to say - even people that live in say New York City still have to travel outside the metropolitan area, so what good is traffic calculations that are only good in a 10 mile radius? I've proposed a P2P (peer-to-peer) GPS system whereby each car that has a GPS would anonymously transmit their current speed and location to other cars with a 50 mile radius utilizing GPS.

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