Recent Articles

Garmin Swim (no GPS here)

Garmin just recently announced Garmin Swim, a sports watch targeting swimmers that can also be used as an everyday watch. Garmin Swim will be ready to use as soon as you enter the length of the pool you’re in and then it will keep track of stroke type, stroke count, distance, pace, lengths and more. You’re probably expecting this Garmin Swim to be GPS enabled but you’re wrong. There’s no GPS receiver in this time piece and the battery will last you about a year.

Some of the features of Garmin swim include the ability to figure out the stroke you are using, log drills or start timed sets without constantly monitoring the pool clock. If you’re seriously training for something Garmin Swim will even display your weekly accumulated distance to keep you motivated.

Garmin Swim is already available for $150.

drones prone to GPS spoofing

Researchers in Austin Radionavigation Lab successfully showed that an unmanned drone with an unencrypted GPS system can be hijacked with GPS spoofing device.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) wanted to see if anyone had the capability to pull this off and invited scientists to show their skills. What the scientists did was to matched-GPS-signal-structure of the transmission and interfere in an attempt to control the receiver. This spoofer can transmit its counterfeit signals from a stand-off distance of several hundred meters or it can be co-located with its victim.

The UT researchers took equipment costing about $1000 to the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico last week and showed observers from both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and DHS how control of a test drone could be taken away from its original overseers.

Considering that hundreds of drones will be flying in the USA within the next decade, the ability to easily spoof them is a bit disconcerting. Of course since similar technology can be used on other vehicles that deploy unencrypted GPS navigation such as planes, ships, etc..

JetBlue Airlines will use navigation system to save on fuel

JetBlue got its approval from FAA to use their new navigation system to save fuel and time when landing in New York. We reported on Southwest Airlines doing something similar about 2 years ago but it looks like this will be a first for JFK airport.

Using the new navigation system will allow the pilot use a shorter path during landing which will save time and about 18 gallons of jet fuel (~$50?) for each flight. At the same time it should help the congestion at the airport to some degree. Another advantage in using the new navigation system will be the ability make landings in weather conditions that previously didn’t allow pilots to attempt.

some thoughts on Garmin, TomTom, and Apple

A short and sweet article on InvestorPlace about Garmin, TomTom, and Apple.

Prior to the advent of smartphones in 2007 with the debut of the first iPhone, Garmin was the name in portable global positioning systems (you know, GPS) and satellite-guided driving directions. However, once consumers started to realize smartphones could do the same — as well as play music, be a flashlight and even test the ripeness of a watermelon — the choice became something of a no-brainer: Smartphones win, and Garmin devices lose. The sales numbers and Garmin’s stock price since then have somewhat — though not radically — reflected that opinion.

Apple licences maps with TomTom, Garmin stock lower

Apple just unveiled iOS6 couple of days ago. One of the things we were looking forward to was the new Maps feature in iOS6. The new feature in iOS will stop using Google Maps and will apparently use maps data from TomTom along with map related data. We’re not sure what Apple will be using to generate turn by turn directions when the OS will be released in fall though.

TomTom shares rose 25% within the last 5 days where as Garmin shares lost 5%.

new GPS watch from Nike and Tomtom

Nike just unveiled their new site and at the same time -with TomTom- announced a new models for the Nike+ SportWatch series.

The new thing Nike came up with is Nikefuel which is pretty much your mileage turned into a universal units that also apply to other sports. This way you can have a swimmer compete with a runner somehow.

They have new colors out for the Nike+ Sportwatch which now include black/anthracite, anthracite/blue glow and volt green. The starting price for the entry level one is $150. This does not come with a shoe sensor but it supports it if you decide to buy it after the fact. If you want to get both the shoe sensor and the watch then you’re going to have to pay $169.

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. Read More..

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.