San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Some of the hottest new products at the Specialty Equipment Market Association show (SEMA) this month were hard-drive based navigation models, including the new Lowrance iWay 500 that won Best New Mobile Electronics Product at the show, here.
Joining other new hard-drive based products shown here from Dual and Navman, the Lowrance iWay 500 is unique in that it also has a built-in 10GB MP3 player.
The transportable unit is the first car navigation model from the Tulsa, Okla.-based company that specializes in marine and aviation products. It is designed to move from car to car, but not to operate as a handheld, although Lowrance plans a handheld model in the near future.
The turn-by-turn unit has a built-in, fully detailed map of the United States and Canada, and a bright adjustable screen. It uses NAVTEQ maps with 2 million points of interest.
At the heart of the unit is a 20GB internal hard drive with 10GB allocated to digital mapping and the remaining 10GB for digital music storage. The portable unit can connect via USB to a PC for downloading music. When the system is in music mode, it offers an array of touch screen buttons and slider controls for music navigation. The unit can also plug into a car stereo system.
The iWay 500 began shipping last month at a suggested retail price of $999.
Also debuting at SEMA was another 20GB navigation unit from Dual, which eliminates the need for CDs or DVDs. Dual said the XNAV9525 also offers quicker access to data than a DVD-based unit. The KNAV9525 comes with an easy-to-use interface and is preloaded with Tel Atlas digital maps for the United States and Canada, as well as 2 million points of interest.
The unit does not come with a screen. It offers turn-by-turn directions with voice guidance, path analysis for enhanced directions based on previous destinations, distance information, high speed auto rerouting and a driving simulation analysis.
The XNAV9525 is expected to ship in January at a list price of $1,199.
New from Navman are two iCN models, including a portable car navigation unit that doubles as a handheld, the iCN-510, and a step-up hard-drive-based player with full U.S. maps, the iCN 650.
The iCN-510 has a touch screen LCD and a general base map that lets users load select cities for more detailed maps. The iCN-510 comes with 32MB of internal flash memory and offers a Secure Digital/MultiMediaCard slot for entering map data.
It has a “trip planner” feature for entering up to 12 destinations that can be changed en route. It also allows users to download point of interest (POI) databases from third-party Web sites, and a “nearest POI” feature so users can find the nearest gas station, hotel, etc., the company said.
Other features include turn-by-turn directions, the ability to preselect areas to avoid, rerouting when off course, voice and visual cues, and a 3D map display option.
The iCN 510 has a 3.5-inch 320 by 240 high-resolution touch screen, and internal lithium-ion battery at a list price of $499.95.
It is joined by the new iCN 650 with built-in hard drive and fully detailed maps for the United States and Canada. It has the brightest daylight-viewable screen on the market, said Navman, and will ship this quarter at $1199.95.