Introducing the Gizmag Store

Navigation

Southampton team leader Professor Sandor Veres, with one of the model satellites used to t...

Situated as they are, high above the surface of the Earth, satellites are pretty much left to fend for themselves – if a piece of space junk is drifting towards one, for instance, no one is going to be there to push it out of the way. To address this type of situation, engineers from the University of Southampton have developed what they say is the world’s first control system for programing satellites to think for themselves. It’s a cognitive software agent called sysbrain, and it allows satellites to read English-language technical documents, which in turn instruct the satellites on how to do things such as autonomously identifying and avoiding obstacles.  Read More

The Eco-Navigator provides real-time fuel consumption and CO2 output data to drivers, to h...

Pretty much everyone knows that driving too fast wastes fuel and creates excess carbon emissions, as does revving the engine and not bothering with tune-ups. We can try to alter our driving habits accordingly, but how can we know how much to alter them? What speed should we drive at when, and how often should we take our car to the garage? These questions can be instantly and completely answered, right in your car, if you’re using an Eco-Navigator device.  Read More

One of America's numerous repurposed Muffler Man statues, spotted by Gizmag staff near Ann...

They – whoever “they” are – say that getting there is half the fun. While that might not be true for trips where you spend hours wedged into an airliner seat, it can definitely apply to cross-country road trips. Often, the things seen en route end up being just as fascinating as those that await you at your destination. This fact is not lost on the folks behind the RoadsideAmerica website and books, who have spent the past 25 years collecting and sharing accounts of quirky museums, Big Things, “natural wonders” and other weirdness encountered along the highways and byways of North America. Now, road travelers can be alerted to the locations of these must-sees as they near them, via the RoadsideAmerica.com Attractions and Oddities GPS guide.  Read More

Parrot unveils connected car receiver running on Android

The wireless gurus over at Parrot have just announced the company's latest car receiver, the Asteroid, and from what we can see so far it looks pretty sweet. In addition to the usual the bells and whistles you'd expect from a modern day system – like geo-location, hands-free music listening, and hands-free telephony – the Asteroid has thrown an unexpected element into the mix. It's running on Android.  Read More

Escort has integrated ticket avoidance technology and GPS navigation into one unit, the Pa...

Automotive radar and laser detector manufacturer Escort has announced the release of Passport IQ, which combines GPS navigation and radar detection technology in one handy unit. As well as getting you safely from A to B, the new driving accessory is said to be the first that also protects you from annoying and costly tickets by providing information on red light and fixed position speed cameras, known speed traps, speed limit information and more.  Read More

The 6.1-inch XNV-660BT

Sony has announced its first foray into the U.S. in-dash car navigation system market which sees it teaming up with TomTom. Joining Sony’s existing line of Xplod in-dash A/V units, the XNV-660BT boasts a 6.1-inch WVGA capacitive touchscreen, while the XNV-770BT ups the screen real estate to 7-inches. In addition to car navigation duties, both units feature CD/DVD playback, integrated Bluetooth, rear USB 1-wire connectivity for portable music players and support for multi-channel audio playback with virtual 5.1 channel surround sound capabilities.  Read More

University of Utah psychology doctoral student, Nate Medeiros-Ward, operates a driving sim...

In-car navigation systems that literally tell drivers where to go are much more convenient and safer than resting a street directory on one’s lap and quickly trying to devise a route on a map at a set of traffic lights. But audio instructions may not always be the best way to impart directional information to hard of hearing drivers or those yakking on a mobile phone – with a hands-free kit I should hope. A new study suggests that devices mounted to a steering wheel that pull the driver’s index fingertips left or right could help motorists drive more safely. The same technology could also be attached to a cane to provide directional cues to blind pedestrians.  Read More

The MyFord Touch system

A recent New York Times print advertisement for the Ford Edge crossover included barcodes that, when scanned by a mobile phone camera, provided readers with access to Times articles on style and technology. It’s part of a techy advertising campaign for the Edge, which will be the first vehicle to feature the likewise-techy MyFord Touch system. Touch is built around Ford’s existing Windows-based SYNC communications and entertainment system, and allows drivers to use the dashboard as... well, pretty much as a big smartphone.  Read More

FLYsmart App for airport travelers

Spending time at an airport waiting for connecting flights or just trying to negotiate your way to your hotel can be frustrating, especially if you're on a tight schedule or budget. Like lots of problems we encounter these days ... there's an app for that. This one – FLYsmart – maps and displays all the immediate information air travelers may need, so backpackers can easily navigate their way to the cheapest form of transport leaving the airport or the business traveler can make layovers as hassle-free as possible.  Read More

'Take a left after the church' – Navteq's Natural Guidance system aims to make GPS navig...

Brilliant idea or bad move? Awful advertising, either way. Navteq has decided that typical turn-by-turn navigation instructions like "in 300 meters, turn left" aren't 'human' enough. That's not how a human navigator would direct you; in fact you kind of need to train your brain to be comfortable with that kind of instruction. Navteq's thinking is that a driver will respond more effectively and comfortably to visual cues like "turn left after the church" or "turn right after the yellow house," so it's rolling out a 'Natural Guidance' system that does just that. It seems like a fairly huge task to put together those sorts of navigation cues across a whole set of maps, but Navteq already has 10 cities' worth of cues programmed in. It'll be interesting to see if it's worth all the effort. Oh, and it's worth clicking through just to see Navteq present the system in one of the most offensively patronizing ad videos we've seen.  Read More

Looking for something? Search our 26,500 articles