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Putting the Portable in Portable GPS

Techstination feature for Thursday, October 19, 2006

Putting the portable in portable GPS. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The latest satellite navigation device from Mio….can get lost in a shirt pocket….but will keep you from getting lost anywhere else. The H610 is tiny…but the 2.7 inch color touch screen…which takes up most of the real estate on the front…is large enough to be useful while driving or walking. It comes loaded with complete maps and data for the United States and Canada…in flash memory….and includes an SD memory card slot. Marketing Director Eric Larsen calls it a personal navigation device…

"This is really designed to get a person from point A to point B and entertain them along the way. So it doesn't matter if you're bicycling, if you're walking, if you're driving. Pedestrian mode is kind of cool, so if you happen to be walking in a big city, it will ignore one way street problems so it won't send you three times around the block to get where you are going. And then if you happen to be sitting on a train or if you get to an appointment early…it does have a full blown MP3 player, it's got a photo viewer, it's got a digital video viewer and it also has a couple of games built in."

The built in points of interest help you find restaurants or movie theatres that are nearest to where you are now…or where you're going. It can also store contacts from Outlook. But there's loads of competition…about which product manager Isabelle Hoogland says…

"There are other pocket sized navigation devices out there, but a lot of them are not really shaped so elegantly and they're not as small as this and they certainly don't have as much built in."

The suggested list price…about five hundred dollars. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.