A quick look around the just opened Flatbush, Brooklyn location of
ViaMichelin, which operates an international driving-directions Web site, entered the U.S. GPS market with a low-cost, $299-suggested portable called the X-930.
The unit, which is shipping, is the first of a family of ViaMichelin portable GPS products slated for the U.S. The company is currently in the process of signing up retailers.
ViaMichelin, a subsidiary of the tire company Michelin Group, has been selling portable GPS in Europe for the past year and claims to have won a top-five slot in that market.
The X-930 features a 3.5-inch touch screen and is the lightest weight product in its class, the company claimed. It has an SD card slot, lithium-polymer battery with a three- to four-hour charge, and preloaded maps of the U.S. It also has a pedestrian mode that disregards one-way streets. It uses a SiRFstarIII GPS receiver and runs on a 312MHz processor.
ViaMichelin wnas founded in 2000 to design, develop and market navigation products. It launched a navigation Web site and then moved into PDA navigation products and finally to portable GPS.