TomTom and Garmin Lose Their Way

An article today in the Technology section of Business Week outlines the difficulties currently faced by GPS/Navigation devices.

Among my family and friends, I tend to be known as the gadget queen. If there’s a gadget out there, chances are I have it. I even have a wireless glove, connected by USB, that I can use on my PC similar to a mouse. When playing solitaire, I can just point at the card I want and drag it to where I want it. It would also be neat with role playing games… “Okay – I want to move these guys from over here to over there… prepare to do battle”. Neat. You may notice I said “can use” which is not to imply that I do use it. Other than testing it out, I have never actually used it.

In the kitchen, I have almost every gadget designed to save time. Three types of cheese graters, automatic apple/potato peelers, automatic slicers, plastic wrap dispensers, powered wine cork removers, egg slicers, etc. I’ve got a pasta maker, waffle maker, dough maker, and so on. I’m running out of room to put my gadgets.

But I don’t have a GPS – a fact that surprises people that know me. You see, a GPS is a portable device, and there’s only so many things I can fit in my purse. I have my cell phone, and my PDA and already that’s too much. Also, the good GPS devices seem to be several hundred dollars and I don’t want to buy a piece of crap just because it’s cheap.

I believe for a new technology to be effective, it needs to be (a) affordable and (b) convenient. So what I want is a GPS device that keeps a charge for close to a month and I don’t want to pay more than $150.

I’ve looked for some type of GPS software for the PDA, but I need to do a lot more research, and quite frankly I don’t have time. I have a plan though… when I need to update my cell phone, I will get one with a PDA and GPS device built in. That will be a couple of years from now and by then the prices will be cheaper. Until then I just have to look up my routes on an old-fashioned map or print out directions from mapquest or google maps before I set off.

Maybe the gadget queen is getting old (and cheap).

0 Replies to “TomTom and Garmin Lose Their Way”

  1. We bought the Magellin for about $300. It was cheaper than and had better features than the Garmin at the time. I feel that it paid for itself on the first out of town trip we used it. It has also shown me many faster in-town routes than some of the ones I had just assumed were the fastest.

    We bought the slim model. It fist in any pocket and even stores easily and out-of-sight in the car. Many new cars come with GPS built in now. I won’t get another car without it.

  2. The benefit of a GPS built into a car is that it is easily viewed while driving. Scrren size is a big plus. I’m not sure that a cellphone GPS would be as useful because of this and might be better for hiking.

  3. I didn’t even mention my breadmaker, although that’s a gadget too. I’m surprised Debbie doesn’t have one – it’s really good for making pizza dough as well.

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