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Navigon Launches PNDs

Chicago —Navigon has launched the first navigation products under its own brand, marking yet another entrant into the popular personal navigation device (PND) market.

Two new models, the Navigon 5100 and 7100, are distinguished by free real-time traffic offered for the lifetime of the product through Clear Channel. These were unveiled at the CeBIT show in Hanover, Germany and are expected to reach U.S. shelves in mid-summer. Navigon is a provider of software for portable GPS devices.

“We’ve been in the business of making navigation software for the better part of two decades and believed that we were in a powerful position to take the category to a higher level,” said Navigon GM Andreas Hecht, “Every detail of these systems — from hardware to software to content — was designed to bring something new and compelling to the category.

The top-end model 7100 has a 4.3-inch widescreen color display. It announces street names, has Bluetooth for phone integration, Zagat survey information and a feature called “lane assistance” that recommends the optimal lane for upcoming turns and maneuvers.It also offers a “reality view” that provides a virtual reality display of complicated road intersections, including road signs.

The Navigon 5100 has a 3.5-inch screen with other features to be announced.

Prices were not yet available.

Navigon is a German-based GPS software provider to many companies including Pioneer, Sony, Dual, Delphi and Rand McNally. Navigon also co-developed a new Pocket LOOX N100 PND with Fujitsu-Siemens, which is due for release in the United States this spring at a suggested $499.