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Magellan Expanding, Upgrading SmartGPS

LAS VEGAS — Magellan is expanding its selection of in-car navigation devices that connect to the Cloud via a Bluetooth-connected smartphone.

Via a Bluetooth-connected cellphone or Wi- Fi-connected mobile hot spot, the company’s SmartGPS portable navigation devices (PNDs) receive pushed location-based content, including Yelp and Foursquare reviews and offers from nearby businesses.

The company is also updating its SmartGPS software, offering an upgrade to existing Smart- GPS users and incorporating the software in new 2104 SmartGPS units. New features include Amber Alerts, Redbox and Geocaching. The PNDs receive Amber Alerts in the area in which a motorist is driving, access Redbox to browse top 20 movies available in the area, and enable users to reserve a movie from the device. The Geocaching function lets users view locations where geo-cached items are stashed.

Cloud-connected features being carried over include pushed location-based updates from socialmedia apps, real-time fuel-price updates, local weather and traffic-camera updates. Traffic-data updates are delivered via FM.

Magellan’s first Cloud-connected SmartGPS unit shipped in mid-2013 at a suggested $249. The second PND to get the next-generation Smart- GPS software and cloud connection is the 7-inch RoadMate RV9490T-LMB for RV owners. It features Wi-Fi to connect to a mobile hot spot and Bluetooth to connect to a smartphone. The PND displays weather maps with graphic overlays of temperature, precipitation or severe weather warning information for a driver’s current location, destination and route.

The device ships in the second quarter at a suggested $349.

Other features coming to a Magellan RV PND for the first time include virtual dashboard that displays toll-plaza alerts, speed limit, mile marker, direction, grade, elevation and other data.

Compared to previous RV models, the RV9490TLMB will add a capacitive touchscreen.

Separately, the GPS supplier is adding its second fitness-oriented Echo smart watch.