Navigation devices getting smarter

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The Independent Travel

TomTom is to introduce a real time pan-European data service with its new navigation device, the company announced April 26.

In a first for the industry, the GO LIVE 1000 will include always-on connectivity across 33 European countries when it launches in Summer 2010. The technology, which relies on mobile phone data networks, enables customers to obtain information on traffic congestion and speed cameras while driving at home and overseas.

While data connections in satellite navigation devices are not new, TomTom is moving closer to an app-based model with the GO LIVE 1000. The server systems which provide content to the device have been completely redesigned, allowing users to download apps via the always-on connection, much like mobile phones.

The model also features a new, faster routing algorithm and a capacitive touch screen, giving a better touch response than traditional satellite navigation touch screens. It also pulls additional data from the web, such as telephone numbers for points of interest.

Taking a cue from Apple's Mag-Safe notebook power cords, the GO LIVE 1000 features a magnetic holster and power cable, making it easier to snap the device in and out of the windshield and minimizing the chance of pulling the device off the screen with an ill-placed cable.

Pricing details have not yet been released for the device, which will be available in Europe.

Navigation manufacturers face increasing competition from mobile phone manufacturers, which are incorporating more sophisticated mapping software in their devices.

Last week, TomTom competitor Garmin announced the launch of the "Garminfone" in the US, an integrated navigation device and Android smartphone that will be available from late spring.

http://www.TomTom.com

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