Photokina 2014 highlights

GPS

Button TrackR is a coin sized device to track objects via a smartphone app

Anyone with a propensity to misplace keys knows how irritating it is to look for them when you are running late. But help is at hand for those people with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone that can connect to tracking devices such as Button TrackR, a coin-shaped little number currently fundraising on Indiegogo. One of the innovations that Button TrackR introduces to this growing market niche is crowd sourced tracking that helps extend the search party.  Read More

Atrist's concept of a PCAS heads-up display

The popular image of modern warfare is the digital battlefield where cyber soldiers have Terminator-like video displays and can call in an airstrike with the shine of a laser beam. While information technologies are revolutionizing the military, when it comes to calling in Close Air Support (CAS), it’s still World War One – where a misread or misheard grid reference can end up with soldiers being hit by their own artillery. DARPA’s Persistent Close Air Support (PCAS) program hopes to improve this.  Read More

The Earl tablet could become your best friend in the outdoors, offering you navigation, co...

Smartphones, tablets and laptops are great when you're sitting on the couch or running around the city, but they aren't as great in the wilderness where cellular service disappears and bright sunlight renders LCD screens near-illegible. The Earl is a tablet designed to skirt around those shortcomings and keep you connected in the deepest of backcountry terrain. The "backcountry survival tablet" navigates you across the land, keeps you in communication with your crew and lets you know what weather lies ahead.  Read More

The new Ambit2 S and Ambit2 from Suunto

Launched last year, the Suunto Ambit brought a new level of functionality to the GPS watch market. Not only could its GPS keep tabs on your speed, distance and vertical, but it allowed for full navigation functions, routing you in and out of the great outdoors. Suunto has now revealed the second generation of Ambit watches with something for both explorers and athletes.  Read More

Sony's 20-megapixel Cyber-shot HX50V compact superzoom

Given the ubiquitous nature of smartphones and the ever-increasing megapixel count of their onboard camera sensors, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the compact digital camera may have snapped its very last snap. Sony believes that its new Cyber-shot HX50V superzoom will make you think again. Claimed to be the world's smallest and lightest 30x zoom camera currently available, the low light sensitive 20-megapixel camera features both Wi-Fi and GPS, high-speed AutoFocus, optical image stabilization, and boasts an impressive battery life.  Read More

 ProNav PNN420 with the ProNav HGV Cyclist Alert software

With government encouragement, London is seeing more cyclists taking to the road, which is great for the environment and public health. Unfortunately, London’s roads were built for oxcarts, not bicycles, and certainly not cyclists and lorries at the same time. Sat nav company Navevo, in association with Transport for London (TLC), is trying to make this combination a bit safer with Navevo’s ProNav HGV Cyclist Alert software, which provides visual and audible warnings of junctions and stretches of road with heavy cycle traffic.  Read More

TomTom GPS watches will hit the market soon

TomTom is a name that sometimes gets lost in the GPS market amidst the Garmins and Magellans. The company is hoping that it will stand out against those names in a new segment of the market: fitness watches. Its new range of GPS-powered fitness monitors is designed to provide a sleeker look and fit while giving athletes all the information they need to perfect their training.  Read More

DARPA's “timing & inertial measurement unit” (TIMU) is a chip-based self-sufficient naviga...

The Global Positioning System (GPS) has proved a boon for those with a bad sense of direction, but the satellite-based system isn’t without its shortcomings. Something as simple as going indoors or entering a tunnel can render the system useless. That might be inconvenient for civilians, but it's potentially disastrous for military users for whom the system was originally built. DARPA is addressing such concerns with the development of a self-sufficient navigation system that can aid navigation when GPS is temporarily unavailable.  Read More

The backpack-mounted Enhanced Mapping and Positioning System (EMAPS), being tried out aboa...

Mapping environmental threats in GPS-inaccessible locations – such as underground installations, or the passageways of ships – can certainly pose some challenges. While there are robotic systems that can do the job, robots aren’t necessarily the best choice for cramped quarters or uneven terrain. That’s why a team of scientists at Johns Hopkins University have developed the backpack-mounted Enhanced Mapping and Positioning System ... or EMAPS.  Read More

BikeSpike is a device that adds an extra layer of security to bicycles by enabling cyclist...

Bicycles are a notoriously easy target for thieves, but technology is here to help in the form of a new device that promises to help cyclists safeguard their property and recover it if stolen. Currently seeking funds on KickStarter, the Chicago-based BikeSpike team has designed a GPS tracker that features a built-in antenna, an on-board accelerometer and a connection to a GSM mobile phone network that allows users to keep tabs on their bike via a smartphone or computer.  Read More

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