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PalmOne Steers Into Car Navigation

Boot Camp feature for Friday, May 28, 2004

PalmOne gets into the car navigation business. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. If you've ever had the chance to use an in car navigation system, you probably know how valuable it can be. Punch in the address you're going to…or the name of a landmark…and the system gives you turn by turn directions. Systems built into cars..typically cost about two thousand dollars. But there are alternatives. The latest one is from leading PDA maker PalmOne. It's selling a three hundred dollar add on package of hardware and software that turns a Tungsten T3 or Zire 72 handheld into a full feature GPS navigation system. Jim Schwabe heads the company's accessories business…

"This combination of the receiver and maps really removes the shackles of having an expensive built in car solution. Instead of spending thousands of dollars, this only costs hundreds of dollars. Plus maybe more importantly, it's portable."

PalmOne has competition from companies like Garmin and Pharos on the Palm side….and others such as TravRoute software that make systems for PocketPCs. But Schwabe says PalmOne's partnership with a company called Tom Tom gives it the advantage of offering navigation with a 3D display…

"We believe that we've chosen the best combination of hardware and software. The GPS maps provided by Tom Tom are the easiest to understand in terms of inputting addresses into the mapping system."

The amount of map data you carry with you is limited by the size of the memory card you use. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin