ETAK Navigation System


ETAK Navigation System is one of the earliest car-navigation systems developed and is world’s first publicly available automobile-navigation system.

ETAK has a glowing green monitor and contains some of the first digital maps of the Bay Area on a tape. It can show latitude and longitude in addition to freeway signs. The really interesting thing with ETAK navigation system is that it doesn’t positioning satellites to figure out where you are. It uses dead-reckoning. There’s a compass in the back of the car, a large processing unit, and many cassette tapes with the digital maps. The clever part is in the wheels. There are magnetic beads that send information to the computer about how fast the car is going, when it is turning, etc.

Oh. ETAK also can’t give you directions. It only shows you where you are on a map.

Back in late 1980’s this system cost about $1500 and the company is now part of Dutch TomTom.

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Pentax Optio WG-2 GPS camera


This is a very well designed GPS camera from Pentax. It’s their 13th generation model with super rugged features. It has a backlit 16MP CMOS sensor, can resist depths of 40 feet under water, shock proof to 5 feet, can operate in temperatures as low as 14F (-10C), and is dustproof. It has a wide angle internal zoom, 3″ LCD, and the ability to shoot 1080p video at 30 frames per second.

Optio WG-2 has 6 macro LEDs which is used digital microscope mode that is accompanied with a macro focus ring so you can get as close as 1cm to your subject.

The GPS feature lets you record positional data with images for geo-tagging applications, as well as position logging and flexible time sync when traveling.

Garmin zumo 350LM


Garmin announced the zūmo 350LM GPS navigator for motorcyclists. It mounts on the handle bars and is waterproof. Garmin zumo 350LM is going to be available in the 3rd quarter of 2012 and will cost $700. Here are some of the features and facts for Garmin zumo 350LM:

  • Highly visible, sunlight-readable 4.3″ glove-friendly touchscreen display
  • Waterproof to IPX7; built tough with fuel-resistant plastics
  • turn-by-turn spoken directions with a Bluetooth-enabled helmet or headset
  • Speed limit indicator
  • Preview services at highway exits
  • Lane assist with junction view

zūmo 350LM comes with lifetime map updates for North America and/or Europe.

Magellan RoadMate Commercial 9270T-LM: GPS navigation for trucks


Magellan recently announced Magellan RoadMate Commercial 9270T-LM GPS device which is designed for truckers supporting a large 7″ display, customizable truck-specific routing, hands-free communication and trip logging. With the 9270-LM from Magellan drivers can enter the height, weight, width and length of their vehicle, in addition to potential hazmat restrictions. Also another important feature for this GPS navigation system is the multi-destination routing so drivers can plan their stops and optimize routes.

Other features of the Magellan RoadMate Commercial 9270T-LM include bluetooth connectivity which when paired with a compatible phone, enables drivers to talk hands-free.

The device also gets some tedious work done too. It helps prepare required compliance reports including hours and state mileage for IFTA fuel records.

There are currently two GPS navigation systems in this family: The 7-inch Magellan RoadMate Commercial 9270T-LM for $400 and the 5-inch Magellan RoadMate Commercial 5190T for $380.