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Finding Your Way With a PDA

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Finding your way... with a PDA. Bloomberg Bootcamp, a report on today's technology. The idea of using your handheld computer with a global position system or GPS device seems great... ..but there's more of an evolution than revolution taking place. Nexian is out with a new version of its HandyGPS module for the Handspring Visor... .

"It's a Springboard module. It incorporates some firmware that's inside the module itself ... combining that with mapping software that's inside of the Handspring Visor actually allows people to locate where they are on a map and then make determinations as to the direction they're traveling and where they're headed."

Nexian's Dave Donald. The problem we found isn't with the module... .but with the memory limitations of the Visor. It doesn't hold sufficient map data to make the investment worthwhile. And with the GPS device in place... you can't add to the Visor's storage capacity. The best solution we've seen on a handheld is TravRoute's Pocket Co-Pilot. It attaches to a variety of PocketPC devices leaving the expansion memory slot free to store mapping data... .

"The application just simply works. And it works easily, it's easy for you to tell the system where you're going and then just basically hit the go button and it does all the work for you."

TravRoute founder Alain Kornhauser, Director of the Transportation Research Program at Princeton University. Pocket CoPilot sells for about three hundred dollars. The company makes GPS solutions for notebook computers as well. Nexian's device for the Visor retails for about two hundred. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.