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Navigating in 3D

Techstination feature for Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Navigating in 3D. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. An increasing number of vehicles are being sold with in car navigation systems. But they are still expensive and have the disadvantage of not being portable. There are solutions you can buy to turn PocketPCs and Palm devices or laptop computers into navigation systems. TomTom, is a company best known in Europe, that hopes to make inroads in the U.S. with systems for handhelds…and now a stand alone device TomTom Go. Company president Jocelyn Vigreux…

"Our whole philosophy is really accessibility, making software, making navigation easy to use and simple to understand. What really separates us in the dedicated units is there's only one button on the handheld. And everything else is just driven by your finger, enter the address and it's a very natural way to actually interact with the software."

The competition is intense from companies like TravRoute Software, Pharos…and on the dedicated unit side…from Garmin and Magellan. And Vigreux says portable units have other advantages over built in systems…

"We are, as a technology company, we're able to upgrade maps and we're able to upgrade applications much faster than car manufacturers can."

The TomTom Go also offers a 3D view of the road…which makes driving along your route look like a video game. The device will arrive in the U.S. this summer for about 900 dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.