Is there still a market for stand-alone automotive GPS devices? Parrot thinks so. In October, the company unveiled its Parrot ASTEROID Mini multimedia system for cars. In addition to core GPS mapping functionality, the ASTEROID Mini allows users to manage calls and music. The device connects to Android and iOS devices via Bluetooth, and has a USB port for a 3G dongle.
The ASTEROID Mini’s 3.2-inch TFT color screen isn’t touch-enabled. But the device does come with a wireless remote control that users can mount to their dashboard or center console.
The ASTEROID Mini will retail for $300 and is expected to ship in the US in February 2013. Today, the device won FCC approval, so it looks like the device will be released right on schedule.
Garmin announced its nuvi 3590LMT personal navigation device this week at CES, and shortly after the device made an appearance on the FCC. The nuvi 3590LMT won approval for its Bluetooth capabilities, which allow the device to connect to an Android phone via Garmin’s Smartphone Link app. When connected to a phone, the nuvi 3590LMT can download traffic information, weather data and gas prices, which can then be displayed on the nuvi’s screen.
The nuvi 3590LMT features a 5-inch 800×480 display, 4 hour battery, microSD card slot in a small 5.4” x 3.4” x 0.5” package. Teardown photos, below, show a TI processor and Samsung SDRAM, along with a GPS module from Cirocomm.
The device is expected to be released in Q1 2012 for $400.
Garmin’s nuvi 2575 GPS unit, pictured above, made an appearance on the FCC today. In addition to standard GPS features, the nuvi 2575 features a analog TV antenna, which allows users to watch TV while on the road…although preferably not while driving. The nuvi 2575 also supports TMC FM traffic data, providing users with traffic updates in real time.
Garmin’s optional Driving Recorder is available with the nuvi 2575, as well. This small camera, pictured below, attaches to the nuvi 2575 and records live video while you drive. Video can be recorded in high (1280×720) and medium (640×480) quality settings, and can be played back on the nuvi 2575 or exported.
No word on pricing or a release date, but the nuvi 2575 made an appearance on the FCC today, a good sign that the device will be released soon.
GPS navigation system manufacturer TomTom passed two interesting GPS systems through the FCC today. Known as the 4KN50 Pro Model, and the 4CT50 GO Model, these devices appear to sport a pretty standard form factor and design. However, FCC test reports reveal that these devices will offer GSM 850/1900 support, which will allow the 4KN50 and 4CT50 to send and receive data wirelessly wherever a cellular connection is available.
This is a valuable feature that will allow the units to provide real time traffic updates, map updates and location data. Anyone with an iPhone has these features now, but few dedicated consumer GPS devices have this level of connectivity. Both the K4N50 and 4CT50 also offer Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity.
No word on pricing or a release date for either system. We’d also expect that TomTom will require some sort of subscription to GSM updates. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more.
Do you have problems keeping track of your kids? Lok8u wants to make it a bit easier to keep tabs on your rug rats with the nu-m8 GPS locator watch. All you need to do is strap one of these to your kid’s wrist, and you can locate them at any thing through the nu-m8 website, below.
In addition to finding your kids online, you can also use nu-m8 to alert you if your kid exists a preset “safe zone.” For example, you can be alerted at any time if your kid exits a 100 meter radius around the local park.
The nu-m8 is currently out of stock on Lok8u’s website, but it will be available at a wide range of retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Toys R Us and Walmart. In addition to purchasing the nu-m8 device, you’ll also have to pay a $10 subscription fee for access to the nu-m8 website.