Puma phone does GPS

Puma decided to brand their own smartphone manufactured by Sagem which slapped freaking solar panel on the back. Nice touch! It is actually just called PumaPhone and is a quite capable smartphone with 2.8″ full touch screen with 240×320 resolution, video chat with front camera, audio player and FM radio, 3.2MP digital camera, and of course geotagging thanks to the onboard GPS receiver.

Other features include Bluetooth 2.1, motion sensor for auto display rotation, microSD card support, 880mAh battery which can get you 4 hours of talk time on 3G networks.

When is it out? In 45 days their site says. Until then you can have a look at the spec sheet [pdf].

Bushnell Onix 350

Bushnell Onix 350 is a handheld GPS device designed for the outdoors. It has a 3.5″ color LCD screen and gives you the ability to download high-resolution
satellite images and topo maps onto your device.

It has the same body style as the ONIX 400 we’ve already covered but is a bit more affordable if you can let go of a few fancy features. Nonetheless Onix 350 is still very capable. For example it includes a new Almanac page that lets users view lunar and solar information to help determine the best fishing and hunting days based on sunrise/sunset times and moon phases. Or take the Solunar Edge Technology that uses internal sensors to measure barometric pressure and temperature. These sensors can be used for both optimal fishing times or weather forecasts. Also do not forget digital compass.

ONIX 350 can also keep track of your elevation, accompanied with a nice chart. Speaking of charts, this Onix comes with upgraded base map of the United States and Canada that shows roads, cities and points of interest.

The ONIX 350 can run up to 32 hours on one charge of its lithium-ion battery thanks to the SafeTrack feature that puts the screen to sleep, but keeps monitoring where you’re going and warn you if you’re off track.

The suggested retail price for was $400 but Amazon has it for $250 and Newegg for $130.

Here are some more specs:

  • Number of Waypoints 1,000
  • Number of Routes/Trails 50
  • User Memory 512 MB, expandable
  • Pixels (H x W) 320 x 240
  • GPS Chipset SiRF Star III
  • USB Connection
  • Waterproof Standard IPX7

Solar Powered Bluetooth GPS receiver

We’ve seen our share of solar powered GPS devices here on Navigadget - so why stop. We present you Solar powered bluetooth GPS receiver from fTech.

You might wonder what if I want to know where I am in the middle of the night? Well do not worry because just like most other GPS devices out there this one also comes with rechargeable batteries and the solar panel is just to extend the life of a single charge. They claim it can last up to 30 hours when the solar panel is activated.

Some of the other specs and features of this solar powered bluetooth GPS receiver include 51 channel MediaTek receiver, 1Hz max update frequency, -158dBm sensitivity, and 45mA power consumption.

We haven’t seen this here in the U.S. yet but if you have seen it at on online retailer re-branded under a different name do let us know.

Solara Field Tracker 2100

You may ask yourself what is this hideous yellow thing? Well, it is a GPS tracking device and we won’t argue with you about its hideousness. However we would like to remind you that it may very well save your life. Provided that 1) you buy it for $880 2) pay monthly fees of $30 - $45 depending on your contract term. But if it is your life on the line money is not issue so let’s stop talking about that and tell you more about the Solara Field Tracker 2100. (UPDATE: People Solara contacted us to remove pricing info from this page to avoid confusion)

First off we’ll backtrack and correct ourselves. This is not just a simple GPS tracking device. It is a 2 way communications device with GPS tracking that promises to work anywhere on earth - using those Iridium satellites (one of which made the news recently after colliding with a Russian satellite). It lets you do 2 way text messaging and provides real time GPS tracking with automatic updates and can run for days or even weeks depending on your configuration.

The secure, online Web-based client interface for the Field Tracker 2100 includes tracking of multiple units with online maps, reading and sending text messages to individual Field Tracker 2100 units and the ability to broadcast to multiple units. Forwarding of text messages by email and automated telephone contact anywhere in the world are standard features of the Solara Web-based client interface. Units can be remotely controlled, including changing the time interval between position message transmissions

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interstellar navigation

Let’s say you’re traveling at warp speeds and you need to avoid hitting any kind of mass along your path? How do you navigate and know where you are? Can you rely on our flimsy earth-made global positioning satellites that are in danger of failing within the next couple of years? Nope, you sure can’t.

Then what you’ll need is something similar. Instead of listening to signals from these satellites you look for pulsars that emit regular radio signals; just like our satellites.

That’s what Bertolomé Coll at the Observatoire de Paris in France found: Four pulsars within our galaxy (specifically: 0751+1807 (3.5ms), 2322+2057 (4.8ms), 0711-6830 (5.5ms) and 1518+0205B (7.9ms)) that form a tetrahedron around our solar system that can help us locate the position of any point down to a meter. You may call it an interstellar GPS system.

Why four pulsars? Coll points out that on these scales relativity has to be taken into account when processing the signals and to do this, the protocol has to specify a position in space-time, which requires four signals.

Coll then defines the origin for this system of co-ordinates as 00:00 on 1 January 2001 at the focal point of the Interplanetary Scintillation Array, the radio telescope near Cambridge in the UK that first observed pulsars.

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concept device: motomap - GPS navigation with E-Ink display

Designed by Stephen Dettman, this concept device is called MotoMap. It is supposed to be an inexpensive alternative to those pricey bike GPS navigation systems. It uses Powerfilm flexible solar panels and E-Ink flexible displays - technologies that haven’t matured yet.

MotoMap wraps around the fuel tank and stays put thanks to the magnets in it. There’s also the adjustable strap to secure the device further. One side of the device is the display for the GPS navigation system, and the other side is reserved Powerfilm flexible solar panel. Not a bad idea.

One of the properties of flexible E-Ink is that the image won’t distort when bent and it requires little power to run. And it is almost always sunlight readable.

The controls for MotoMap is designed so that bikers won’t have to take their gloves when interacting with the device…

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Suntrac - Solar powered GPS tracker

Orion Technology from Taiwan has a few GPS tracking modules. Most of them are pretty basic; GPS, GSM enabled devices which are usually placed somewhere under the hood - use your car’s battery and have antenna connections for placing the receivers somewhere outside. However one of them stood out from the rest. Called Suntrac - this device is a solar powered GPS tracker which could be very useful where 12V power is not available. This could be your trailer, boat, caravan, or more industrial stuff such as shipping containers.

Suntrac is an all in one waterproof tracking device that contains GPS and GSM modules that can work around the world ( Tri-Band GSM / GPRS modules ( 850 / 1800 / 1900 and 900 / 1800 / 1900 ). And when cellular network signals are not available you can rely on Suntrac to record the position onto its 4MB internal memory.

It measures 320x280x41mm and weighs about 2 kgs. It is not the most discrete and portable thing out there but sometimes it is the only solution.

We haven’t seen Orion’s product anywhere in the States side yet but if you have do let us know.

gps cow hat

Being a cowboy used to entail long days herding cows under the brutally hot and dry sun. Now, with the advent of solar powered cow hats, a stockbroker in New York could theoretically herd cattle in New Mexico. With the way Wall St. has been performing lately the cowboys might have a problem on their hands.

The GPS device was developed in a joint venture between MIT and the Department of agriculture. The GPS unit relays information about the cows location to a central server back at the ranch. If the cow leaves the pre-determined area music plays through a speaker built into the hat to nudge the cow back to where it belongs. If this fails an electric shock is enabled which will turn the cow around.

This is the first solar powered device we’ve seen that can play back MP3’s and deliver the occasional electroshock so it gets a four star review. In reality though it shows how far GPS technology has come in the last few years. Who would have ever thought GPS would impact the way cowboys worked?…

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Samsung Rugby

Samsung Rugby from AT&T is a work horse style flip phone with numerous features and lots of ruggedness to go with it. It is also known as SGH-a837 and is designed with workers in mind:

“As AT&T’s best-in-class rugged device, only Rugby brings users like construction foremen and landscape designers the ability to share live video from one phone to another,” said Jeff Bradley, senior vice president, Business Marketing and Operations for AT&T’s wireless operations. “Employees can literally see more than one work site at one time.”

The ruggedized clamshell phone supports PTT and various 3G services. Some of the highlights include video sharing as we quoted above, 1.3MP camera, GPS navigation, audio player, stereo Bluetooth, memory card slot, and HSDPA connectivity.

In case you’re wondering what ruggedized really is, let us explain: Samsung Rugby is certified to military standard MIL-STD-810F (yes, there is a MILF in there) to withstand dust, shock, vibration, rain, humidity, solar radiation, altitude and temperature extremes.

We’re not sure what kind of hardware is providing the GPS capabilities but as far as features and LBS you’re looking at:

  • Turn-by-turn voice and on-screen directions
  • automatically reroute if you miss a turn
  • Monitor traffic and receive incident alerts
  • Find the closest restaurant, ATM, gas station or Wi-Fi hotspot instantly

Samsung Rugby will cost you $130 with a two year contract (after $50 rebate) or $280 without any commitment.

Casio Boulder

Yes, that’s a cell phone sitting in few inches of water with a digital compass on its display. Called Casio Boulder, this is the newest addition to the G’zOne rugged phone series. Just like the other G’zOne this one also features integrated GPS receiver and a 1.3MP digital camera.

It will be available from Verizon in August for $130 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a 2 year contract. Here are the other important features of Casio Boulder.

  • Flashlight
  • turn-by-turn directions with VZ Navigator
  • music player
  • microSD card support
  • bluetooth
  • speech recognition
  • voice commands
  • speakerphone

And of course it meets military specifications (810F) for water, shock and dust resistance; immersion; vibration, salt fog; humidity; solar radiation; altitude; and low and high temperature storage…

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