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Your PDA Can Point the Way

Boot Camp feature for Monday, July 15, 2002

Your PDA can point the way. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. In car navigation systems are being offered in more and more vehicles today... .and while they usually work pretty well... the problem has been price. Typically about two thousand dollars. But those prices should start to fall as popularity goes up. And at Pharos Science and Applications... .which makes GPS navigation solutions for PocketPC and Palm PDAs... Executive VP Jeff Curtis believes that is good news...

"It's actually fantastic for us, because navigation is not something that some people feel they need. But we really go after high end mobile professionals, the ones who travel a lot. And they're the ones who buy the high end cars it turns out that have an in car navigation system. They get used to that system. They love it, and then they go on a business trip to Boston and the car's back in L.A. parked in the garage and that navigation system isn't helping them. The fact, though, that the navigation helps them makes them come buy our system cause when they're on the road, for only two hundred dollars extra, they stick it on top of the PDA they already own and they get that same capability they have in the in car system when they really need it... when they're away from home."

The Pharos devices... that's P H A R O S... named after the more than two thousand year old lighthouse on the coast of Egypt... .have the advantages of portability and price. But in car navigation systems typically include much richer databases to help you find nearby restaurants or hotels. Pharos also faces competition on the PocketPC side from Travroute... which is just out with Pocket CoPilot 3.0. I'll have more on that in a future report. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.