By Lisa Johnston
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Nextel teamed up with GPS-technology developer Trimble to offer a GPS navigation service targeted to outdoor enthusiasts who subscribe to Nextel cellular service.
The service, called Trimble Outdoors, can be accessed through select Java-equipped GPS-equipped Nextel phones that also access the Motorola Viamoto and a separate Telenav navigation services. Those two Nextel-billed services are targeted to motorists and offer real-time turn-by-turn driving instructions.
The Trimble Outdoors service, in contrast, is targeted mainly to people going off-road, into the water or into the air. It will be available during the holiday season to turn select Nextel phones into GPS navigation receivers comparable to recreational GPS receivers offered specifically for use in such outdoor activities as hiking and boating.
Subscribers will be able to wirelessly download trip-planning information and maps onto such Motorola-made Nextel phones as the i710, i730, i830 and recently launched i860 camera phone.
The maps would include routes and points of interest on street, aerial or topographic maps covering the continental United States and parts of Alaska and Hawaii.
The Java-based Trimble application software would also be downloaded wirelessly.
The service will work like this:
From their home PC, subscribers will log onto a Trimble site to plan a route on a map, create waypoints, mark points of interest, mark elevations, and the like. The data will then be sent over the Nextel network to the phone.
While on a trip, users could use the data to navigate routes, mark new points of interest, take photos and create written trip reports to share with others.
The phones will display:
• available GPS satellites.
• a navigation page with a digital compass showing heading, altitude, speed and bearing to waypoints
• a track page, which shows where the user has been over time so he can find his way back to a location
• digital topographic maps, aerial photos and street maps complete with the user’s position and direction on the maps.
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