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Garmin Debuts New GPS

Hannover, Germany — Garmin is adding Bluetooth, hands-free dialing and a new anti-theft system to its new portable GPS models.

The company introduced at CeBIT, here, a new StreetPilot c500 series and an upgraded nuvi travel assistant/portable GPS.

The new StreetPilot c500 series claims a brighter display and more sensitive GPS receiver, which acquires a signal quicker and works in heavy foliage or “urban canyons,” said the company.

Garmin said it also addressed the problem of theft since a portable GPS sitting on a dashboard might be an easy target. The new Garmin lock system requires the user to input a four-digit code for the GPS to work. However, if the user forgets his PIN, the unit will automatically resume functioning when the user returns home, as the GPS will recognize that location.

The new model c550 has a Clear Channel real-time traffic receiver integrated into its power cable. It comes with preloaded maps, and it announces the names of upcoming streets and points of interest. It also has an MP3 player and SD card slot at a suggested retail price of $857.13. The new c530 is a trimmed-down version without Bluetooth or traffic receiver. It features preloaded maps, SD card slot and MP3 and is expected to ship this summer.

The new nuvi 360 adds Bluetooth and the new lock system to the original nuvi 350, introduced late last year. It is a portable GPS that accepts an optional language translator, travel guide and Clear Channel real-time traffic receiver. It also has an MP3 player and audio book reader at $899 suggested retail price. Garmin dropped the price of the original nuvi 350 to $799.