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Motorola Taps High Tier With Connected PNDs

Ill. – Motorola began shipping
the industry’s first connected PNDs (portable naviga

tion devices) to use the
voice channels of Bluetooth-connected cellphones to stream local search results
and other information, including weather, gas prices and news.

All three touchscreen models are also the company’s first PNDs
with voice control, including voice-enabled online search, said category
management senior director David Harris. The top model is the company’s first
with voice entry of destination.

The new models are the company’s first PNDs with live-traffic
service, which is available from Navteq over FM RDS broadcasts, he added. An
RDS receiver is embedded in two models and, for the third model, is embedded in
an optional car kit. Traffic service is included in the purchase price.

In launching the PNDs, Motorola chose to access online
information via the voice channels of a user’s Bluetooth cellphone because of
the installed base of more than 200 million Bluetooth-equipped cellphones in
the U.S.,
Harris said. In addition, users don’t need to subscribe to a cellphone data
plan to access the services from their phone.

Other companies’ connected PNDs feature embedded cellular-data
modems that require a cellular-data plan, he noted.

The three PNDs are the $269-suggested TN555, $299-suggested
TN565t and $349-suggested TN764t. They became available at Amazon during the
first week of March. Distribution will be expanded to distributors and other
retailers, both online and brick-and-mortar, in the coming weeks.

MotoExtras online services are free for 90 days and cost $49/year
after that. MotoExtras includes voice-prompted searches for such information as
local gas prices, weather forecasts and flight-status updates as well as Google-powered
local searches for points of interest (POI) not included in the PNDs’ embedded

Separate voice searches powered by Microsoft Bing are free and
deliver such information as stock quotes, travel information, sports and news,
movie listings and business searches.

The top-end TN764t features a 5.1-inch cinematic 2.35:1
widescreen, while the other two models feature a 4.3-inch 16:9 widescreen. All
feature a Multiview display, said to be unique to Motorola. It gives users the
option to view real-time information on the left or right of the display while
a 3D map appears in the center. The “left-view” displays real-time information
about the drive, including a bird’s eye view of the vehicle’s location on a map
and a list of nearby POIs that changes dynamically as you drive by. The left
view will also display a list of waypoints and a trip summary that includes ETA
and distance to destination.

The “right view” displays on-demand information from the
MotoExtras and Bing services. The right view also displays such information as
phone contacts and settings.

All three also feature Bluetooth speakerphone capability,
browsing of a phone’s contacts by voice, and display of a phone’s text messages
through the handful of phones equipped with Bluetooth’s new Messaging Access

All three also feature street-name announce, lane guidance, junction
view, speed-limit data and embedded safety-camera locations, which can be
updated via PC. The top-end TN765t adds voice entry of destination, 3D
landmarks, 256MB of embedded memory and removable 4GB memory card.

The products represent the
company’s second-generation line. Motorola

the PND market

in fall 2008.