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Garmin Nuvi PNDs Find Stores Inside Malls, Airport Terminals

Olathe, Kan. — Garmin’s Nuvi Advanced series of portable navigation devices (PNDs) is adding such new features as a Foursquare venue database and a Direct Access feature that finds the mall or airport terminal entrance closest to a specific store.

The 2014 Nuvi Advanced series is available at suggested retails from $199 to $349 with 5-, 6- and 7-inch multitouch glass displays that support pinch-to-zoom.

They follow the shipment early this year of the company’s opening-price Nuvi Essential series. The company’s flagship series is the Prestige series.

The Advanced series includes Garmin-exclusive features such as Active Lane Guidance, PhotoReal and Bird’s Eye Junction View, and Garmin Real Directions. Also included are lifetime map updates and traffic updates, which are delivered via FM RDS on all models but the Nuvi 2599LMT-HD, whose traffic data is delivered via HD Radio.

The navigators’ database includes millions of preloaded venues from Foursquare to find businesses, stores, restaurants and other destinations. Select models equipped with Bluetooth connect to the company’s Smartphone Link app to access FourSquare in the Cloud for specific categories such as best places and trending places. Smartphone Link also accesses more detailed Foursquare information including ratings, price range and hours of service.

Smartphone Link also accesses live online services, including traffic- camera images and weather.

With Direct Access, the devices search for restaurants, stores, parking, and auto-rental locations inside airport terminals and shopping malls. The feature not only directs drivers to the closest exterior entrance but also indicates where the venue is located inside, such as “inside on the upper level.”

Spoken turn-by-turn direction technology called Garmin Real Directions guides drivers by recommending turns at recognizable landmarks, buildings and traffic lights rather than simply by street name. Active Lane Guidance provides voice and visual prompts to prepare a driver for turning at an exit or interchange. And PhotoReal junction view shows graphic displays of junctions and interchanges, including the surrounding landscape and road signs along the route.