With the evolution of built-in GPS systems in smartphones, standalone navigation devices are increasingly becoming ‘out of fashion’. The president of MiTac Digital, Peggy Fong explains, “Consumers want a much more comprehensive navigation solution that surpasses what traditional GPS smartphones can offer.”
To bring standalone GPS systems by Magellan back into the mainstream, the company is all set to launch its cloud-based SmartGPS. The device to be available for $249; will be synced to a range of devices.
The rationale behind is that most of us use our tablets or phones to plan the destination route, even before getting into the car. Therefore, the company plans to offer a free application for Android and iOS devices. This way, the directions will be sent to the device, which can be followed via the LCD of your SmartGPS’s device. The device can also be connected to a laptop or PC with the help of a micro USB.
The device also has the capability to provide reviews of public sites and restaurants which come in the way. Moreover, it offers traffic updates as well as gas prices of nearby gas stations. The device automatically updates information from its cloud database.
SmartGPS device has a 4GB memory for storing data, and an additional memory slot for map data. The company is also offering a $150 camera which can be synced with the device.
You also have the option of changing the screen display. The screen displays the information about the locations as “squares”. You can access to more information by tapping these “squares”. This information may include address, phone number and other customers’ reviews regarding the location. You may navigate to the selected destination as well, just by tapping on the “squares”.
The only concern may be information overload or cluttering of data on the screen, something that wasn’t clarified during the brief. A demonstration of the features of the product was held in Manhattan.
Peggy Fong believes that SmartGPS is the first out of potential many products to be produced by Magellan from its new Smart Ecosystem platform. The extent to which these devices may be successful and have an impact on the dying market of standalone, new systems is still a big question mark. Only time will answer this question.