Cellular Navigation/Tracking

Posted by Sam Churchill on

TeleNav and Sprint today launched Sprint Navigation, said to be the industry’s first GPS navigation bundled in data packs.

Sprint Navigation, powered by TeleNav, provides GPS navigation on a phone. Unlimited use of Sprint Navigation will be included in the new Sprint Power Vision Navigation Pack, along with two other existing data packs.

Sprint customers who subscribe to other Sprint data packs will have access to Sprint Navigation for $2.99 per day.

Sprint Navigation will include the following features:

  • Voice-guided and on-screen turn-by-turn GPS-enabled driving directions, which speaks street names for each turn
  • 3-D moving maps similar to an in-car navigation system or personal navigation device
  • Real-time intelligent traffic alerts and one-click rerouting
  • Local search with more than 10 million points of interest
  • Lowest price gas finder
  • Interactive voice response for destination entry by speech instead of text or phone number
  • Pedestrian mode
  • Spanish-language option
  • Pre-trip planning site at www.sprint.com/navigation

The new Navigation Pack will include unlimited use of Sprint Navigation, along with unlimited data access and Web browsing, Sprint Mobile Email, Sprint Picture Mail, Sprint Radio and Sprint TVSM, for $20 per month.

Unlimited access to Sprint Navigation also will be included in the existing Sprint Power Vision Ultimate Pack and Sprint Power Vision Business Pack, both priced at $25 per month. All other Sprint Vision, Power Vision and PowerSource packs will include pay-per-day access to Sprint Navigation for $2.99 per 24-hour period of use.

“Whether subscribing to a data pack that offers unlimited access or using the service on a pay-per-day basis, customers will have the power to use Sprint Navigation in the way that best fits their needs,” said George Ranallo, director of wireless data applications for Sprint.

Sprint Navigation will be available in April on most Power Vision phones, including the popular Motorola RAZR, Motorola KRZR and FUSIC by LG, as well as many Sprint Vision phones. Available Sprint Navigation features will vary by phone. Sprint offers more than a dozen consumer GPS applications, including navigation, local search and specialty applications, such as Sprint Family Locator, BiM Active by Bones in Motion and Smarter Agent Apartments for Rent.

TeleNav also powers a new tracking service, TeleNav Track ($9.95/mo), which offers GPS-enabled location-tracking and mileage-tracking, as well as wireless time sheets, alerts and detailed location-reporting. It’s available on the BlackBerry 8800 and Hewlett-Packard Co. iPAQ hw6920. TeleNav services are also available from other providers and phones such as Cingular and Verizon.

Tuesday, Yahoo made its oneSearch service accessible on mobile phones. Yahoo’s oneSearch, first launched as Yahoo Go for Mobile 2.0, delivers locally relevant answers to cell phone users’ search questions.

Competitors Google Mobile and Microsoft Mobile are also offering maps, travel directions and traffic reports. A survey conducted by Symbian said that more than three-quarters of the U.S. population now carry cellphones.

Java Micro Edition (Java ME) has become a popular option for creating games and applications for cell phones, since they can be emulated on a PC during the development stage and easily uploaded to the phone. Sun Microsystems released significant portions of the J2ME source code last year, licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and released under the project name phoneME.

Other tracking and navigation solutions include:

  • The AnyTrack GPS-100, a $199 device, can be tossed in a glove compartment, purse, or attached to a dog’s collar. Built-in GPS and CDMA connectivity provides pay-pay-view location services that run anywhere from $14.95/mo (way more if you update frequently).
  • Inilex’s Fleet Track module is supported by a nationwide wireless/web/telephone based control system and can remotely start or stop a car and unlock doors. The device is sold through car dealers for $600 to $1,100 plus a monthly subscription. It competes with OnStar for General Motors cars and LoJack’s stolen-car tracker.
  • WiFi Tracking Tags from AeroScout, PanGo and Ekahau can track people and things as they pass through “choke points” (using WiFi to interrogate RFID tags).
  • EZURiO’s Wireless Intelligent Telematics System (WiTS) uses WiFi to send remote vehicle data to a secure database for Fleet Management Applications. WiTS Fleet Managers can then use this data to build their business models without having to worry about the hardware or data acquisition middleware.
  • The Loki toolbar on PC browsers and AOL’s AIM, is based on the Skyhook Wireless WiFi Positioning System (WPS) which uses WiFi access points to triangulate a user’s location. Loki’s software cross-references their nationwide database of WiFi hotspots to produce coordinates (although some worry about privacy).
  • Navizon’s software, currently compatible with Windows mobile devices and Symbian cell phones, is free for non-commercial use. It triangulates signals from both Wi-Fi access points and Cellular towers.

Then there are Web Widgets that run inside a web page. They allow anyone to create their own website “mash-ups”. Desktop Widgets are mini-applications that show discrete information, often connected to the Internet.

Related DailyWireless articles on GPS and Location Services include; Geocoding Content & Telemetry, GPS Tracking: In a Shoe, On a Bike, Motorola: It’s All About ME, Sun Opens Java, Mobile 2.0, Yahoo Go 2.0, Mobile War: Google Vrs Yahoo, Opera + Yahoo = Mobile Everything, Yahoo on Smartphones, Future of WebAps, Municipal Wireless Flash Applications, School Bus Tracking, GPS Sports Workout Phone, Report on Kim Search, Developing Verizon Location Services, Personal Location Devices, Cingular 3D Navigation, Tiny Trackers, Geovector: Advertising Walks the Talk and Nokia to Offer Active Tracking/Alerting.

Posted by Sam Churchill on Wednesday, March 21st, 2007 at 9:58 am .

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