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Magellan Launches SmartGPS At CES

LAS VEGAS — Magellan is coming to International CES with a flagship on-dash GPS-navigation device that connects to a Cloud-based service to receive pushed location- based content, including Yelp and Foursquare reviews and offers from nearby businesses.

The device, which Magellan declined to call a portable navigation device (PND), ships in March. Pricing was unavailable.

The SmartGPS, which connects in the car to the Cloud via a Bluetooth-connected smartphone, will be the industry’s first on-dash GPS unit to integrate pushed locationbased updates from social-media apps, said Mark Perini, product marketing associate VP.

Besides pushing Yelp and Foursquare deals, offers and reviews, the free Cloud service also pushes updated fuel prices from nearby gas stations, weather reports and safety-camera updates to the SmartGPS via a Bluetoothconnected smartphone. Traffic data is pushed via FM radio signals. Pushed data is displayed on tiles on the PND’s 5-inch WVGA display next to a navigation map. When information is received about nearby businesses, users can press an icon to navigate to the business. The display also reveals such information as phone number and any special offers available through Yelp and Foursquare.

The device will be the flagship in a series of Cloud-connected PNDs. Details of those models, and pricing of the SmartGPS, weren’t released at press time.

SmartGPS is also Magellan’s first PND to wirelessly sync a destination and route selected by a PC or tablet, which obtains point of interest information and routes through Magellan’s Cloud-based service. Once the PC or tablet selects a destination and route, the information is transferred to the PND via a home’s Wi-Fi network if the PND is within Wi-Fi range. If the PND is outside network range, the info is transferred to the PND via Bluetooth connection to a smartphone when the PND is turned on.

The SmartGPS device and service “transcend the location and navigation experience of GPS devices and smartphones” because it eliminates the need to use a second device to access location-based Yelp and Foursquare reviews, and it eliminates the need to manually launch the two apps, said Perini.

Magellan will also push all of its Cloud-based information to a Magellan app for iOS and Android smartphones.

The PND display can be customized to show only a GPS navigation screen, only a panel of eight real-time tiles that display constantly updated information, or a combination of navigation display and tiles. When the PND is on but not delivering turn-by-turn instructions, the display can show a map and four selectable tiles. The four default tiles are Yelp, Foursquare, traffic and safety-camera alerts.

When a person is navigating, the display shows a map and only two tiles, but each tile rotates automatically through different data. One tile flips through traffic and safety-camera information, and the other flips through Yelp, Foursquare and fuel prices. Users tap on a Yelp or Foursquare tile to view the phone number of a business and preview a route to it. Users then tap “go” to navigate to the destination.