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Personal Navigation Devices Essay

1. Why have Personal Navigation Devices become popular. What technologies are required to facilitate the success of PND?

Personal navigation devices can become the next must-have gadgets. They add more comfort in the busy life in the sense that they give you an ability to concentrate on one thing less. PND like, say, GPS are starting to win over customers, from weekend hikers or bikers to people who are just tired of their lousy sense of direction. Some consumer GPS navigation devices feature interactive street maps that may also show route information, and step-by-step routing directions. For these reasons PND’s are very helpful and useful.

They have, though, some limitations. For example, the consumers are limited to two-dimensional data and are not provided with map coverage once they leave paved roads. So, the 3D Map product/technology is needed to enable GPS and PND recreational market. A company Intermap Technologies resolves this problem, providing users with a new product – AccuTerra . According to Brian Bullock, Intermap’s president and CEO, “AccuTerra’s 3D aerial maps and digital terrain model content, with overlaid route tracking information, is unique in today’s outdoor hand-held device market. The product provides the outdoor enthusiast with 3D viewing capability on a hand-held device that extends the user experience beyond what we have become accustom to from Internet search engine providers.”

(http://www.intermap.com/interior.php/pid/1/sid/306/tid/245/nid/2164)1 Also, to facilitate the success the product has to be all in one navigation device with the different abilities. One of the leading companies – TomTom creates GPS. It has a touch screen, speaker, USB port, internal Lithium ion battery, and comes with TomTom HOME software. It charges, synchronizes, and updates its data by connecting to a Windows or Mac PC running the TomTom HOME software via USB cable.

2. Who are some of the leaders in PNDs? What are the likely factors that will contribute to winning in this marketplace.

There are many companies, which try to develop and enhance PNDs, but probably the most famous leaders are TomTom, Garmin, Navigation, Magellan. The most important factors for the competitors that will contribute to winning in the marketplace I think are the ability to build a device which would be multifunctional and portable, not costly and with the features which would satisfy different customers depending on their particular interests and needs.

3. What will be a likely future for PNDs?

Roger Hart predicts that “dedicated PNDs will continue to be preferred for use in the car. However, it says that in-car navigation systems will be complemented by handset-based systems for pedestrian navigation. The firm also says new devices such as portable media players, ultra mobile PCs, Internet tablets and mobile Internet devices will also integrate navigation systems into their applications”. (Roger Hart, 09/2007, para.2) 2 Though the domestic competitors will continue to enhance the PNDs’ features and quality, the main stress will be made on the Worldwide sales. “Worldwide sales of Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) will continue their strong growth, reaching sales of more than 100 million units by 2011, according to the new report released by ABI Research.”( Roger Hart, 09/2007, para.1)

4. Apply as many TCOs to Personal Navigation Devices as possible.

I decided to choose Garmin, since it’s easier to apply TCOs to the company:

A. Garmin – is the parent company of a group of companies founded in 1989, that develops consumer, aviation, and marine technologies for the Global Positioning System.

B. To protect their property, most of the processes Garmin patented, but most of its software and applications are licensed, except some of them like, for example, XM Patent Application for Sending and Receiving Images.

C. Garmin is very competent in the various of the fields like GPS receivers, StreetPilot devices, GPS eTrex series, iQue line of integrated PDA-GPS receivers, sonar fishfinders with GPS capabilities.

D. The company should continue to collaborate with the different vendors and complementors to add the new features. It probably should develop more independent marketing and manufacturing units around the World to increase and encourage the R&D.

E. & F. The company probably have to work more in the different directions, but based on the existing and recognized strength – developing navigation devices. Recently it achieved the great reputation in the developing navigation systems for the aircrafts and “won” the huge revenue: “Oregon based aircraft company Epic AIR LLC (subsidiary of Aircraft Investor Resources (AIR) LLC — United States) on or around April 17, 2007 announced that it will use Garmin glass pane cockpits and related avionics in all of its certified and experimental very light jets and turboprop aircraft. Garmin G900X will be used in company’s owner-built airplanes, while Garmin G1000 will be used in certified Epic aircraft.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garmin#Products). 4 So, maybe it’s one of the directions the company should go in. Also, as mentioned above, they probaly should concentrate more on the Global marketing.


1. http://www.intermap.com/interior.php/pid/1/sid/306/tid/245/nid/2164 (08/2007,para 2) 2. http://geocartablog.com/?p=531(Roger Hart, 09/2007, para.2) 3. http://geocartablog.com/?p=531(Roger Hart, 09/2007, para.1) 4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garmin#Products(para 15)

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