World News: Garmin enters the mobile phone market

World News:  Garmin enters the mobile phone market

Garmin has announced its entrance into the mobile phone market with the nüvifone, an all-in-one device that combines a phone, mobile web-browser and personal navigator.

The nüvifone should be available in the third quarter of 2008, and is the first device of its kind to integrate premium 3.5G mobile phone capability with an Internet browser, data connectivity, personal messaging and personal navigation functions in one device.

The 3.5-inch touchscreen display reveals three primary icons: Call, Search and View Map. Calls are initiated by tapping the Call button and selecting a name from the contact list or by using the on-screen keypad.

When the nüvifone is docked onto the vehicle mount, it automatically turns on the GPS, activates the navigation menu, and enables hands-free calling.

The nüvifone's personal navigation features include preloaded maps of North America, Eastern and Western Europe, or both; millions of POIs; turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions; automatic route recalculation if the user misses a turn; Google local search; web browser; and personal messaging functions, including e-mail, text, and instant messaging.

The “Where am I?” feature lets users touch the screen at any time to display the exact latitude and longitude co-ordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and gas stations.

The nüvifone also helps drivers find their car by automatically marking the position in which it was last removed from the vehicle mount.

The nüvifone includes access to Garmin Online™ for constantly updated information such as real-time traffic, fuel prices, stock prices, sports scores, news reports, local events and weather forecasts.

The nüvifone also includes a built-in camera that allows pictures to be automatically be tagged with the exact latitude and longitude reference of where the image was taken. The image can be saved so the user can navigate back to that location, or emailed to a recipient who can navigate directly to the location.

The nüvifone also provides direct access to millions of geo-located landmark and sightseeing photographs available through Google’s Panoramio picture sharing site.

The nüvifone’s other multimedia functions include a built-in video camera, MP3 and MPEG4/AAC.

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