TomTom has been continually upping its navigation game, what with its partnership with Apple in iOS 6 and the HD Traffic 6.0 upgrade and requisite Android app announced this summer. Far be it from the Dutch service to rest on its mapping laurels, though: it’s now poised to take on Uber and other players in the taxi-hailing world. Last week, The Next Web reported that the company acquired the taxi-fetching app maker TXXI in an effort to roll out a TomTom cab-booking service, and today the site reports that the theory is now confirmed. Speaking with TNW, TomTom said it indeed bought TXXI to “help develop tools to support the taxi market,” with initial efforts focusing on Amsterdam. Last month, the company began a trial program in that city to let restaurant and hotel guests order a taxi from a mini-kiosk called the Taxi Butler. On the cab side, there’s the so-called Taxi Assistant, a TomTom-branded device which alerts drivers to incoming requests. No word on whether the company will eventually introduce mobile apps, but we’d say it’s a pretty safe bet.
Not long after acknowledging that a leap year bug had borked a handful of its GPS devices, TomTom’s releasing a fix to solve the problem. The company says some nav systems had tracking issues beginning March 31st, claiming the intercalary conundrum was mainly caused by a bug in the third-party software. Those whose GPS devices are acting a tad bit confused can head over to the source below, where deets on how to get things back to normal await you.
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re probably outside of Sesame Street’s target demographic. Then again, who knows right? Anyway, just because you’re too old to watch now, that doesn’t mean you didn’t grow up with Big Bird, Bert, Ernie and the rest of the Sesame Street gang and miss hearing their voices on a regular basis. To that end (or, you know, to appeal to parents with small children), TomTom has just made Bert and Ernie’s voices available for TomTom navigaton devices. Developed in collaboration with Sesame Workshop and Locutio Voice Technologies, the add-on will set you back $12.95. Hmm… I think I still prefer Jezza’s voice, unless they have Mickey or Elmo.
Those of you hoping to hear the boisterous voice of Jeremy Clarkson coming out of your TomTom GPS are going to be quite disappointed. As it turns out, part of the BBC’s editorial guidelines state that none of the Top Gear presenters can endorse motoring products, and thus, having Clarkson screaming out of your TomTom is a clear violation of this policy.
Some 54,000 units of the Clarkson-ified TomTom have already been produced, with many already in stores. BBC Worldwide has stated that it will now donate all proceeds from the TomToms to the Children In Need charity. The BBC told UK’s The Guardian that Jezzeh was in no way involved with setting up this deal and will not make any money from the partnership between BBC and TomTom.
Looks like drivers will now be forced to add in their own insults, sarcasm and humor to the TomTom sat-nav experience.
We’d assume a sizable share of fans may consider themselves God’s gift to road navigation, but that hasn’t stopped TomTom launching a special edition Top Gear flavour of its GPS device. Navigation is narrated by the voice of Top Gear, Jeremy Clarkson, directing clueless drivers “with the aid of 32 satellites… and me.” The in-car navigation unit is priced at $269.95, including a one-year subscription to traffic updates and incident reports from TomTom. Alongside Clarkson’s familiar tones are some extra Top Gear car icons and Stig mode, where the GPS will remain entirely silent. It’ll also point out race tracks featured in the show, plus any nearby speed cameras. With its main man behind you, how could you possibly lose your way?
News of Garmin’s plans to acquire Navigon leaked out earlier this month, but we now have official word that the GPS giant will bring the smaller German company under its wing beginning in late July. Pending regulatory approval, the deal would have Navigon, one of the largest GPS brands in Europe, functioning as a subsidiary of Garmin, which has a much stronger presence in North America. The companies were unable to reveal any financial information, though previous estimates priced the deal in the “mid-double-digit million” Euro range. Navigon says it’s not ready to share any details concerning the acquisition, but we’re unlikely to see major effects in the US, where the company has smartphone apps but hasn’t sold dedicated GPS devices in several years, but the same can’t really be said for the international market though.
Ford UK is offering customers a new way to place your GPS navigator system: Beside your rear mirror! The sat nav unit will be fitted alongside the rear view mirror in an extended holder. Replacing the original rear view mirror, the system which is called “MirrorNavi” system, displays GPS instructions on a 3.5-inch touchscreen display which is integrated into the rear view mirror, simply by clipping onto your existing rear view mirror. This smartly avoids the need to do any damage to your dashboard. Read more…
Cycling has become an exotic sport for those high-income folks. You’ll wonder what’s wrong with the world, when some people fork out around one grand just for a bicycle. Just because the manufacturers throw in some words like Shimano, and carbon fibre, and people will go crazy in awe and drool over these bicycles. That’s pretty much enough reason for Garmin to heavily invest products in these bicycles, which will mostly go tarmac and off roads too, in places where your iPhone will quite impossibly get any reception (it can barely get any reception in the lift, what’s more in the jungle).
“Whether you’re on the road, in the mountains or around the city, Garmin’s touchscreen Edge 800 puts the most important information of your ride at your fingertips,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales. “Thanks to its simple mounting system, improved mapping and route-planning capabilities, and the GPS-based features that make wires and calibration obsolete, we can easily say that one Edge fits all.”
When you’re cycling in the jungle, and can’t get any reception for help when you face a grizzly bear, you can still fool around with this new touchscreen GPS navigator from Garmin. Their latest Edge GPS devices are like iPhone-wannabe, as the Edge-800 is equipped with a 2.6-inch color display, Garmin’s BaseCamp route planning system, and BirdsEye satellite imagery, with the “HotFix” GPS technology to quickly acquire and maintain a signal, and support for a wide range of heart rate monitors, cadence sensors, and other ANT+ devices, to name a few features. Crazy features I’d say, but expected when you’re marketing for a bicycle platform that may cost around a grand.
“At Garmin-Transitions, we’re going to be on the cutting edge of technology, in everything we do,” said Team Garmin sprinting sensation Tyler Farrar. “Edge 800 can track all of our performance data, and it also keeps things interesting on training rides because we can use it anywhere in the world to plan and follow new routes – on and off road – and always find our way back to the start.”
While the device won’t be available until this October (for $449 or $649 depending on the bundle), it’s already received a few early reviews that paint a pretty positive picture — DC Rainmaker has even go so far as to say that the device “rocks,” and that “it’s everything that most cyclists have been asking for.”
Garmin recalls around a total of 1.25 million units of portable GPS units over a possible fire risk issue. Consumer Reports claims to be caused from faulty battery, making the unit to overheat while in use. There have been no injuries or property damage due to the defect thus far, and fewer than 10 units have been reported with the problem. Well we can just hope that the number will remain of that.
The recall covers Nuvi 200W, 250W, 260W and a scarce model in the 700 series that land in a certain date-code range and that use a specific type of printed circuit board design. The easiest way to tell if your unit falls under the recall is to head over to Garmin’s site and enter in your model’s serial number. If yours comes up as one of the unlucky few that has to be returned, Garmin will provide you with all of the basic mailing instructions.
Garmin does not only sell their products through retailers though. There’ve been several automakers that offer cradled Garmin products as optional in place of pricey in-dash navigation system. Thus, some of them might need to contact their customers if their Garmin products fall under the ‘unlucky’ category. Suzuki has confirmed with Autoblog that some of their models uses the said system, and will be working with regulator to deduce which vehicles that are shipped with the faulty Garmin Nuvi system, and will soon contact their customers for the recall procedures.
For the Star Wars Day celebration. TomTom has added Star Wars GPS Voices that cost $13 into their GPS. It has voices of different characters, include Darth Vader, C-3PO, Yoda, and Han Solo. The extras include sound effects, custom screen wallpaper, and character map icons.