Tracey's Technology Blog

Technology news and gadget reviews relating to all of the latest consumer electronics products

30 March 2006

KDDI Unveil 3D GPS For Mobile Phones

The Japanese company, KDDI, who offer GPS services for mobile phones have recently announced the launch of their new 3D version. This new GPS service uses a Java application, and the screenshots I found at GPS Gazette look very impressive. The graphics look like a simulated 3D video game don't they.

Further to this report, apparently the W43T Toshiba phone supports this GPS function, along with (take a deep breath...) a Listen Mobile Service (LMS), a 3.23MP camera, Bluetooth, Hello Messeenger, a MiniSD slot, and the internet. According to Akihabara News though its speed is diappointing, and the amount of menu's, together with bad coding make navigating around the phone completely incomprehensible.

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29 March 2006

Garmin's GPSMAP 378 & GPSMAP 478: Images

Here's those images of the GPSMAP 378 & 478 I promised: GPS 378 on the left, and the GPS 478 to the right!

Bluetooth: Future WiFi Media Solution?

Bluetooth is expected to determine how hundreds of millions of televisions, video recorders and computers will be connected.


The world's largest electronics firms have announced "Bluetooth is the future"; and come 2008 Bluetooth will be used to stream high quality video throughout the household and home entertainment devices. These products are supposed to be available for prototyping come the end of 2007, and will reach consumers in early 2008. However, if we're to go by the first introduction of Bluetooth, then maybe we should expect their debut around 2012 (Bluetooth was supposed to be in every device starting 1999, but that didn't really start until 2004 did it?)

At the moment Bluetooth is a short-range radio technology, currently used to connect mobile phones to other devices like headsets, and printers. According to reports, the new version of Bluetooth is expected to use Ultra Wideband (UWB) radio technology, which is able to send and receive multimedia at speeds upwards of 100 MB/ sec (over 100 times faster than today's speeds), and distances of up to 50 feet. Lets hope that's accurate, because I don't mean to be a pessimist but current Bluetooth is supposed to work up to 30 feet away, when in reality you can rarely get 20 feet away.

Micheal Foley, Executive Director of the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (Bluetooth SIG), said the development work will be compatible with current Bluetooth format, so that's a relief. But, whatever Bluetooth technology is 'the future', I hope the products stick to their statement and works at least 50 ft away, and through walls no less. And, lets hope they stick to their guns with the debut dates huh!

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Bluetooth to link home devices: Reuters Press Release

28 March 2006

The Garmin GPSMAP 378 & GPSMAP 478

Garmin have announced another two portable GPS navigators: The GPSMAP 378 and GPSMAP 478


Do you remember back in February this year when Garmin announced they were looking forward to introducing between 50 and 60 new products in 2006?...
"CAYMAN ISLANDS, Feb. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Garmin Ltd...We look forward to introducing between 50 and 60 new products in 2006; ten new products introduced so far in 2006, many during January's very successful Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas."

Well, on top of those 10 products, and the number of GPS units already announced this month (the Garmin Nuvi 310, the Nuvi 360, the Forerunner 205 & 305, the StreetPilot 510 & 550, the Garmin Mobile 2.0, the GMX200, and the eTrex Venture CX), Garmin have decided to announce yet another 2 portable GPS navigators: The GPSMAP 378 and the GPSMAP 478.

Some of its nifty features include...
  • six million points of interest

  • Optional XM WX Weather capabilities: So all you mariners and motorists out there can predict the kind of weather to expect during your trips

  • With the GXM 30 antenna, you can also have the option of receiving XM Satellite Radio’s 150-plus channels of commercial-free music, sports, news, talk, and entertainment programming.

  • The GPSMAP 478 features built-in Marine Detail Charts utilizing elements of Garmin’s new BlueChart(R) g2 technology: Chart features include shaded depth contours, port plans, wrecks, restricted areas, and more.


There are loads more features you can read about in the PR Newswire press release...But unfortunately I don't have any product pictures to show you because they haven't been released yet. Rest assured though, I will post them as soon as they are :-)

27 March 2006

Motorola Q Smart phone: Available In April

Motorola today posted confirmation on their website that its Blackberry-style smart phone will be available in April.


Motorola announced the Motorola Q smart phone in July 2005, targeting a Q1 2006 launch date. So, today's post tactically confirms past reports that the 1.2cm-thick, keyboard-equipped handset will miss its original Q1 2006 shipping time frame.

According to Motorola, the Motorola Q Smart Phone will be the "world's thinnest full-function smart phone". Sporting an integrated QWERTY keypad, it measures in at 11.5 x 6.3 x 1.1 cm. This certainly beats the 2cm-thick Palm Treo 650 and the 1.8cm-thick RIM Blackberry 7780.

It also features a large and vibrant 2.4" colour screen, a 1.3 megapixel camera, an mp3 player, web surfing capabilities, and much more... including integration with the Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0 platform. This last feature may be exactly why Motorola have held back; pending the arrival of Microsoft's push e-mail upgrade (Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0).

So, with the freedom to have information at your fingertips, that moves with you, without desks or wires to weight you down, it's no wonder the exam authority have noticed a rise in student mobile cheats.


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