By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Companies are offering hosted services that leverage many handsets' assisted-GPS technology to deliver turn-by turn driving instructions. Some of the services displayed were from Telmap and Mapquest.
Telmap's GPS navigation application and subscription service for cellphones has been upgraded to include a sliding and rotating map that moves in tandem with the user's location in a manner similar to the maps on installed car-navigation systems.
Telmap's software runs on Java- and smartphones and PDA phones based on the Blackberry, Linux, Microsoft, Palm and Symbian operating systems.
Telmap's monthly subscription price is $10-$12 and it includes maps for the United States, Europe, Australia, South Africa, the Middle East and other locations.
Telmap uses voice and graphic prompts to provide GPS-assisted real-time turn-by-turn driving and walking instructions. The software can be downloaded to the phone over the air, via wireless e-mail or via a CD or memory card.
Like other cellular navigation services, Telmap downloads instructions to a handset to minimize connect time and eliminate missed turns if a signal is lost. Also like others, it downloads common mistakes that people can make if they drive off course and automatically provides new instructions without reconnecting to the company's server.
MapQuest, the online map supplier, announced its first cellphone-based GPS-navigation service, which offers turn-by-turn driving instructions. The company expects its MapQuest Navigator service to be available through major U.S. carriers later this year.
GPS-equipped phones featuring BREW, Java, Windows Mobile or Symbian applications will display full- color maps and deliver turn-by-turn navigation instructions by voice, graphics and text. The service will be available in partnership with Telmap.
MapQuest's Telmap-based service downloads maps and instructions to a handset to minimize connect time and eliminate missed turns if a signal is lost. It can be used for in-car navigation but also features a pedestrian mode that ignores vehicle turning and one-way driving restrictions
MapQuest's service also provides print-quality maps with zoom-in/out, pan-and-point functionality and intuitive location search for addresses, intersections, ZIP codes and millions of points of interest.
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