Magellan releases next-generation GPS navigation systems
By Loz Blain
September 6, 2007
September 6, 2007 In-car GPS navigation systems are marvellous pieces of technology, going far beyond the simple but fundamentally useful ability to give accurate directions to a destination. Magellan’s latest release units are designed to guide you safely around backed-up traffic and accident sites, tell you where the nearest coffee shop is, and even act as a Bluetooth hands-free kit for your mobile phone.
GPS navigation specialists Magellan has announced the launch of the second generation of its Maestro series of portable vehicle navigation devices, featuring the thinnest GPS units in the industry.
Designed to be pocket-sized for easier portability, Magellan’s new Maestro 4200 and Maestro 3200 series of GPS navigation devices reflect a wide range of user benefits and price points. In addition to being the only GPS brand that offers integrated AAA TourBook travel information, the new Maestro units feature a streamlined look and functionality built into a new, sleeker industrial design. At only 17.8 mm thick and just 82.5 mm tall, the new Maestro packs dozens of advanced mapping features and bright 4.3-inch or 3.5-inch QVGA screens into the industry’s most compact, portable auto navigation units. The slender Maestro 4250 and 3250 both let drivers skip around traffic issues with an RDS-TMC receiver that's built into the unit and transparent to the driver. Integrated real-time traffic and included three-month traffic subscription are a nifty tool for drivers who don't want to sit in traffic. Traffic incidents are automatically delivered to the unit and incidents on the driver's route are highlighted and alternative routes offered. The Maestro 4250 and 3250 are the only units in the new lineup to offer voice command and control for added safety on the road. This provides hands-free operation for many of the functions drivers use on a daily basis. Drivers can speak commands such as "Go Home," "Nearest Coffee," or "Roadside Assistance". The Maestro 4250 and 3250 give drivers searchable AAA TourBook listings that provide AAA Diamond-rated restaurants and accommodations, "Show Your Card & Save" locations, approved auto repair facilities, attractions, events, campgrounds, cities and AAA branch office locations. The Maestro series also provides AAA member roadside assistance details that show exact location and provide the AAA member toll-free help number. Bluetooth-enabled Maestro devices will connect the driver's Bluetooth-enabled cell phone directly to AAA for immediate help when AAA members need it most. To give drivers access to AAA TourBook information in a mid-range Magellan Maestro unit, the Maestro 3210 also includes AAA TourBook information.
In addition, the Maestro 4250 and 3250 units deliver Bluetooth hands-free calling through a connected mobile phone. Pre-loaded maps of North America and Puerto Rico and more than 6 million searchable points of interest, including AAA TourBook information, provide drivers with the most detailed mapping information available.
“One of the most influential factors in the consumer GPS purchase decision is portability,” said Kevin Burden, mobile device market analyst for mobile consumer research firm Telephia. “Magellan has maintained a larger-sized viewing area and valuable features like AAA travel information and integrated traffic, while delivering a thinner form factor to enhance the unit’s portability. This enables users to more easily store their devices in briefcases or purses when not in use or tote them in their carry-on luggage for vacations and business trips.”