NXP: Dual View Screen For Car Use

NXP: Dual View Screen For Car UseIn a world where increasingly people have to watch a flickering screen to be entertained, it’s not surprising that screen in cars has been a big success.

For parents it’s a great way to keep their children quite while they travel to their destination. Heaven forbid that they talk to each other.

That aside, Digital-Lifestyles is all about the development in areas, even if we don’t necessarily use it ourselves, so we want to learn.

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NXP: Shaping The Future Of Digital Media: Podcast: IFA

NXP Nexperia PNX5100: HD TV 2 Is Coming: IFA 2007If you want to know where consumer electronics are moving, there’s no better place to find out than via the people that make the chips that will power these devices.

One that came into being last year that really impressed us last year at IFA was NXP, a spin-off from Philips, essentially what used to be their chip R&D division.
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GetMeThere: Pay As You Go Mobile GPS Launches in UK

Pay As You Go Mobile GPS Launches in UKGetMeThere.co.uk has launched what they are claiming is the first, free to install, Pay-as-you-go Mobile Satellite Navigation solution in the UK.

A joint venture between Toyota GB and IS Solutions, the TARA (Traffic Avoidance and Routing Application) Mobile SatNav is aimed at mobile and smart phone users in the UK.

Customers won’t have to buy expensive hardware or annual licences to use the Satellite Navigation system as the TARA Mobile SatNav works with any compatible mobile phone and a GPS receiver.

Instead, punters pay on a per-journey tariff, with TARA Mobile SatNav charging £1.50 ($2.70, €2.22) to the mobile phone bill for each destination, with users allowed to update their route to check traffic conditions, take an alternative route or to re-calculate the journey if they have the orienteering skills of an alcoholic amnesiac

Pay As You Go Mobile GPS Launches in UKThe system offers a comprehensive suite of features, including full turn by turn navigation, voice commands, traffic avoidance, auto-zooming maps as a junction approaches, hands free use, European road network coverage with full address, house number, street and postcode search.

All route calculation and traffic avoidance is processed remotely, with the data automatically downloaded onto the mobile via GPRS.

Pay As You Go Mobile GPS Launches in UKJon West, Director of GetMeThere.co.uk said “With over 4.5m navigationsystems expected to be sold this year across Europe, TARA Mobile SatNav has arrived just in time to provide a low cost, quality solution for the intelligent motorist. With GPS devices now available at around the £50 ($90, €74) mark, SatNav has become a must have for all motorists”.

TARA mobile SatNav is available as a free download from GetMeThere.co.uk and is compatible with a long list of mobiles including popular Nokia models such as 3650, 3660, 6260, 6600, 6670, and 7610,T-Mobile’s MDA II and Compact and O2’s XDA II range.


Nokia And Wayfinder Introduces 6630 GPS Package

Nokia And Wayfinder Introduces 6630 GPS PackageNokia and Wayfinder Systems have proudly proclaimed the availability of the Nokia 6630 Navigation Pack, a compact smartphone-based navigation package for folks on the move.

The navigation package comes in three parts; the Nokia 6630 smartphone, a Nokia Wireless GPS Module and the Wayfinder Navigator application.

WayFinder isn’t unique in offering this application to the Nokia 6630, with other available including NaviCore, launched in the UK a few weeks ago. Having Nokia put their name to the Wayfinder Navigator will provide a sense of authority that competing products will find it hard to compete with.

Getting a little carried away, the announcement insists that the Nokia Navigation Pack “puts the world into people’s pockets”.

Although the idea of people flapping around with planet-threatening trousers amuses, all the package actually does is let users connected to the Nokia Wireless GPS Module access position and route information on their Nokia 6630 smartphone screens.

It’s a clever wee thing though, offering turn-by-turn voice instructions, searching for street addresses, restaurants and other points of interest with locations or points of interest shared by forwarding maps via MMS or email.

The Nokia 6630 Navigation Pack does not require fixed installations with the automatic settings configuration tool serving up maps from Wayfinder’s extensive catalogue, currently covering Western Europe, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, and Greece.

“Location based services are among the top consumer choices for new mobile applications,” asserted the wonderfully named Kirsi Kokko, Director, Smartphone and Business Solutions, Multimedia, Nokia.

“With the Nokia 6630 Navigation Pack, we wanted to address this demand with a highly advanced, portable package combining the benefits of a smartphone and navigation. When not using navigation based services, people can enjoy the same device for productivity purposes, taking pictures or video, surfing the Internet or listening to music.”

Nokia And Wayfinder Introduces 6630 GPS PackageNever one to knowingly undersell his product, Jonas Sellergren, VP Product Management, Wayfinder Systems proclaimed “the Wayfinder Navigator application on the Nokia 6630 brings the ultimate navigation solution to the consumer.”

“The Wayfinder Navigator(TM) in a Nokia smartphone delivers a complete navigation experience that previously has been found primarily built into cars. Wayfinder Navigator is the perfect travel companion, the ideal tool for people on the move,” he continued, selling furiously.

The Wayfinder Navigator app comes on the Nokia 6630’s Reduced Size MultiMediaCard (MMC) with a 6-month freebie period of navigation including automatic map updates. After that date, users will have to dip in their pockets to extend the service.

The navigation pack will also be available with the Nokia 6670 smartphone in some areas.


A780/ MPx220, Motorola Phones Bundle GPS Navigation App

Motorola Smart Phones To Bundle GPS Navigation AppMotorola is to bundle GPS navigation software and hardware with the European versions of its A780 and MPx220 smart phones.

The handsets will include ALK Technologies’ CoPilot Live navigation software and Navteq ‘street and places-of-interest’ maps for European countries, installed on a memory card.

The Linux-based A780 has a built in GPS receiver hardware, while the Windows Mobile-based MPx220 will require a separate Bluetooth-enabled GPS receiver.

CoPilot Live uses maps and GPS location data to calculate multi-stage routes, displaying turn-by-turn directions on screen and speaking them out loud to avoid drivers crashing into hedges while looking at the groovy 3D map display.

The software also plugs into ALK’s GPRS-based tracking system, which allows third-parties to find out precisely where they are and how long it will take for them to arrive at their destination (we fancy there’s a few in this office who could benefit from such a feature after a night in the pub).

The product can also quickly plot alternative courses in response to updated traffic news and traffic jams.

Motorola Smart Phones To Bundle GPS Navigation AppGPS navigation has proved a bit of a hit in Europe, with sales bolstering up an otherwise declining PDA market.

A variety of vendors have busied themselves bundling together low-cost handhelds, GPS receivers and navigation software packages that together cost far less than a dedicated GPS systems.

David Quin, ALK’s UK marketing chief, said the Motorola deal was “an important step on the road to mass-market adoption of GPS navigation”.

The Motorola deal follows a similar agreement with T-Mobile, which recently announced that it will bundle CoPilot Live with its SDA and MDA Compact smart phones (and offer CoPilot Live separately to existing SDA and MDA users.)

Motorola Smart Phones To Bundle GPS Navigation AppBoth handsets use Bluetooth to communicate with a separate GPS receiver.

Motorola’s handsets and GPS bundles will be available from “select” mobile operators throughout Europe, with pricing and availability determined by the carriers themselves.

ALK Co Pilot

SIRIUS to Satellite Children’s TV to Cars

SIRIUS SportsterSIRIUS Satellite Radio announced today that it will be providing 2-3 channels of premium video content, designed primarily for children, in the second half of 2006, to be beamed into moving vehicles. They will be working with Microsoft to develop the service.

Although initially pitched as a TV-on-the-move service, they clearly have ambitions beyond this, as hinted at by Amir Majidimehr, Corporate Vice President of the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft “We will further work together to enable consumers to experience SIRIUS video whether on the go, or at home — from the initial mobile service in vehicles to the PC and home entertainment devices.”

While it’s possible that content could be streamed down live to the cars, it may be more likely that content will be trickled down to hard disk devices in the car for on-demand playback. This would avoid cries of “Oh Dad” from the back of the car as TV pictures freeze due to drop out problems when driving through areas of low reception, like tunnels. More importantly for a satellite company, bandwidth requirements would be reduced from a full broadcast stream.

This is further backed up by careful reading of Chief Executive Officer, Mel Karmazin’s statement “We will take the DVD experience to the next level, offering the best content easily available to families and consumers.”

If they do go for live TV delivery the video channels will take significantly more bandwidth than their current audio offering. Whether SIRIUS will be closing some of their current radio stations or adding more satellite capacity is unclear.

If the content offering from SIRIUS is just on-demand, they could face some serious competition from in-car media centres that wirelessly “recharge” their content while parked in their garage overnight.

Reuters are reporting that they were originally told of the TV channels by the ex-CEO of Sirius, Joseph Clayton, as far back as February 2004.

Today’s news follows an announcement on Tuesday that Ford have committed to offering Sirius radio as a factory-installed option in up to 1 million vehicles over two years beginning this summer. XM, who also offer a US wide satellite radio service, currently have 3.1m users’ verses the 1.1m SIRIUS currently has.

SIRIUS Satellite Radio

Sony Launches Three Linux-based Car Navigation/Infotainment Systems

Sony's 3D mapping displaySony’s new range of in-car navigation systems, the NV-XYZ 33, 55 and 77 feature remarkably advanced 3D mapping, media players, GPS, hard drives and based on the Linux kernel.

The 3D mapping interface is clear and brightly coloured, and features representations of the actual buildings that you’re driving past to find that little store in Akihabara that has some of those Tom Nook figurines left over. In fact, the 800 x 480 pixel touch screen display throws around so many pastel polygons it looks just like Crazy Taxi. Depending on your driving style, of course.

Advertising for petrol stations and fast food outlets are built into the maps, making the 3D world you’re driving through even more accurate/annoying.

As the systems are for the Japanese market exclusively, maps are only available for Tokyo and other locations in the country.

Other software supplied with the units include a web browser, an email client and a word processor (no doubt for filing out those insurance claims after being distracted by too many in-car gadgets).

The 200 x 104 x 49 mm units are based on a MontaVista Hard-Hat Linux distribution, all models have CF card sockets for wireless cards and a USB2.0 interface for connecting to your PC. DVDs can be downloaded to the unit’s hard drive for viewing on the road.

The units are priced at 155,400 (33), 176,000 (55) and 207,900 (77) yen respectively. (€1164, €1319 and €1558).


Daimler-Chrysler US to Install Satellite Radio in over 500k Cars

Daimler-Chrysler have chosen the SIRIUS satellite radio system for installation in many of their new car lines, including the PT Cruise and popular Grand Cherokee. Starting in 2005, the cars will be fitted with digital receivers manufactured by Alpine, Blaupunkt, Clarion, Eclipse and Kenwood – amongst others.

The deal amounts to some 550,000 vehicles – and SIRIUS would like to see a bigger deal, this time with Ford, soon.

SIRIUS provides more than a hundred channels of advertising-free radio – from sports to comedy to music, for an annual subscription of $155 (€127).

SIRIUS business