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|Fri Nov 17, 2000 - 6:20 PM EST - By Marcus Adolfsson, James Hromadka|
The $180 Magellan GPS Companion was on display to the public for the first time at Comdex. The Marcosoft MapCompanion mapping software is an advanced version of the Quo Vadis software they provide. A Marcosoft representative told me about a trip he took where he was able to find the exact altitude and direction of the flight he was on from the GPS Companion! The mapping software smoothly scrolled without needing to refresh the entire screen, and you can also use the MapCompanion software when the module is not in the Visor. The GPS Companion will come with a CD that contains maps for all U.S. cities. European support out-of-the-box is still being determined.
We got to see Bluetooth in action when Widcomm demonstrated its BlueConnect module connecting to a BlueShare desktop device and performing a HotSync. Widcomm is an OEM provider, so any modules we see won't have their name on the product. They will have the technology ready by Q1 2001, but depending on their licensees we may not necessarilly see the finished product in stores until later next year.
Tellus Technology demonstrated their WIPClip module that uses CDPD wireless technology. Their module was using Bluelark's Blazer web browser, which brought up VisorCentral.com pretty fast and didn't need to read the entire page before displaying it. Blazer also looks really nice in color. One thing I liked about the WIPClip is that its rechargeable battery is recharged using the VPR Travel Charger (which is included). The WIPClip is due Q1 2001 and pricing should be comparable to other CDPD providers.
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