Mobile World Congress News: Webraska launches 1st hybrid GPS navigation worldwide

Mobile World Congress News: Webraska launches 1st hybrid GPS navigation worldwide

Webraska has announced the world premiere launch of the "hybrid" GPS navigation, simultaneously operational in on-board and off-board mode.

Until now, the applications of GPS navigation, becoming increasingly popular on mobile phones, were either functioning in "on-board" mode, where the maps are resident on the terminal, or in "off-board" mode, where the maps are stored on Internet servers.

The on-board mode does not require any network connection and the maps are provided on an SD card (2 Gig for Europe), locally accessible and with no additional cost.

On the other hand, no dynamic information is provided to enrich the service and geographic coverage is limited to the data available in the memory of the device. The update of the maps is complex and payable. Knowing that more than 10 000 roads, traffic circles, motorway entries, traffic directions are created or modified each year, obsolete maps can be a true handicap.

The off-board mode offers quasi-unlimited geographic coverage, with automatically updated information (maps provided by NAVTEQ, POIs, speed cameras) and even real-time information (traffic, personal addresses book, etc).

However, a network connection (GPRS, Edge, 3G, 3G+) is necessary during the calculation of the initial itinerary and to access the POIs, knowing that the patented IbDN® technology of Webraska assures that no other network connection is required during the ride, only if a predefined zone (broad corridor around the calculated itinerary) is abandoned.

The hybrid navigation joins the two modes together in the same product, with their advantages but without their deficiencies.

The user selects the mode that is convenient to him: “on-board” for navigation and local recalculation, or “off-board” (online) for access to the latest real-time traffic updates, or to drive in a country not covered by maps on the terminal.

Consequently, it is possible to buy maps for all of Europe (version Q3-2007 of NAVTEQ), and only install a selection, e.g. France, London or Madrid, while retaining the possibility of calculating pan European itineraries, (e.g. Evian – Geneva, Helsinki – Oslo, or Lille – Brussels) at any moment and without additional installation.

It is also possible to buy the maps of, say, France, for daily usage, and to buy the rights (e.g. for one specific day) to access the maps of Europe in on-line mode.

The hybrid navigation system switches automatically from the on-line mode to the on-board mode in the case of network unavailability.

Webraska’s hybrid navigation is currently only available for smartphones functioning under Microsoft Windows Mobile®. The software is free and the maps can be used for a flat rate either in on-board mode or on-line without additional expenses except possible connection costs.

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