CES 2013: Magellan SmartGPS shows that portable navigators can get smarter

ConsumerReports.org

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, companies tireless boast of their brilliant new products. Well, Magellan goes one better with a truly smart idea, integrating social and localized content into its upcoming SmartGPS navigator.

This dashtop device has similar features to its current crop of navigators, with route guidance augmented by user ratings. Where the SmartGPS innovates is by using WiFi and Bluetooth to pull in local information to improve points of interest searches, using popular mobile services and enabling the functionality to be shared on mobile devices.

The 5-inch glass capacitive touchscreen provides quick access to information and offers via Foursquare and Yelp. Profiles are available for local businesses, along with user reviews, contact information, and one-touch routing. Plus, the connected device provides nearby gas prices, traffic information, speed camera warnings, and weather.

The data is fed to the device from the user's smart phone via Bluetooth, with the ability to pre-load information when WiFi is available, such as in your driveway or garage. Like all navigators, it can also be updated via a computer connection.

Free apps for Android and iOS enable the SmartGPS experience to continue on compatible phones and tablets.

The SmartGPS will be on sale in the spring for $249, and it is compatible with the Magellan backup camera.

See our complete CES 2013 coverage.



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