LaPorte, Ind. - The first handheld navigation device launched by startup
helps users navigate roadways and golf courses, and it does double duty as a portable media player (PMP).
The $249-suggested Expresso AG1, which opens up like a cellular flip phone, will be followed later this year by other products called "crossover navigation devices" by the company and targeted to people with active lifestyles. Additional models will offer "unique features such as bicycle maps and more," sales VP Pete Muller told TWICE.
The 2.5-inch by 4.5-inch by 1-inch device uses Navigon software and a Navteq map database to deliver turn-by-turn driving instructions on the road. The device's golf-course rangefinder was developed by iGolf, a supplier of GPS systems for golfers and the keeper of a database of more than 33,000 courses worldwide.
The product will debut this month in the U.S. on the Home Shopping Network, which has exclusive rights to the product through the end of July, Muller said. Beginning Aug. 1, the device will also be available at Amazon.com. "We will continue to roll out with other online retailers as well as several nationwide big-box stores over the coming 90 to 120 days," he told TWICE. "The uniqueness of this product allows it to be sold via consumer electronics, 12-volt and sports/golf sales channels," he added. The product is distributed by Archbrook Laguna.
For golfers, the AG1 displays a user's location on a course and distance to holes and course obstacles. The iGolf app measures the distance to any point on the hole and from there to the green, delivers aerial hole-overview maps, shows pre-mapped distances to hazards and custom waypoints, provides scorekeeping and records statistics, and delivers instant front-, center- and back-of-the-green measurements. Users can map a course on their own or subscribe to iGolf's database.
For motorists, the device features Navigon Mobile Navigator 7.3 routing software, U.S. and Canada maps, portrait and landscape views, street-name announce, 2D and 3D maps, lane assist, reality view lifelike 3D images of freeway interchanges and exits, automatic day/night mode in which the display automatically adjusts for daytime or nighttime driving by time of day and location, multiple-destination route planning, Zagat-rated points of interest (POIs) as well as millions of additional POIs, and speed assistant, which warns when a driver exceeds the speed limit.
Because of its flip-phone form factor, the device doesn't need a large dash- or windshield mount accessory and can be placed on the dash and in cup holders.
Other features include a rubberized coating made from recycled tires, 3.6-inch widescreen TFT LCD touchscreen with 480 by 320 HVGA resolution, lithium-polymer battery with up to 12 hours of battery life, built-in stereo speakers, Samsung 533MHz processor, 2GB of embedded memory, two 32GB SD card slots, and SiRFstarIII chipset for faster satellite-acquisition time and low power consumption.
The price includes such accessories as car charger, dash-mount pad, windshield mount and USB sync cable.