Navman's Top Of The Range Satellite Navigation Device Introduces NavPix - A New Way To Navigate!
When I first read about Navman's new feature for their high-end in-car GPS devices, NavPix, I was a little skeptical. Why would a Satellite Navigation system need a built in camera? Why would anyone want to navigate using pictures instead of addresses? Wouldn't Navman have been better to install BlueTooth for mobile phone integration?
Putting these thoughts to one side for a moment, let's review what the icn 750 is actually like to use as a conventional Sat Nav unit. I've always liked Navman's approach to GPS, a little more technical than Tomtom, and this unit is no exception.
It comes in a great slimline case, with a silk effect finish. The buttons all feel "right" the screen is bright and clear, and the voice instructions are up to Navman's usual high standard. What you're getting for your money are pre-installed maps of Western Europe on the 750's 4gb internal hard drive, with full Post Code look-up for the UK, 3d maps, voice instruction, back-on-track re-routing, the latest GPS receiver technology, favorites, TCM compatibility, parking & fuel quick nav keys, car bracket, lead, home charger, usb lead, etc. Great!
The Navman 750 was a joy to use on the road, entering full Postcodes, POI's or addresses is a joy via the touch-screen, and the navigation itself was perfect, using either the 3d view, top-down or route instructions. It takes a little getting used to not having a joy pad, like on the earlier 520 & 510, but you soon don't miss them at all, in fact you wonder why you needed it in the first place.
Even with a window down I could still hear the voice instructions, and it was good to see the auto zoom feature changing the level of detail as my speed changed. As with all GPS systems the Points of Interest files were a little out of date when it came to petrol stations (so many have closed down in my area), but everything else was Ok.
So what about Navpix?
Taking your own photos on the 1.3mp camera is simple, and the unit automatically remembers where you took the picture so that you can find your way back easily, but it isn't until your visit the Navpix web site that you can see the possibilities of this feature has for GPS navigation. Ok, there aren't that many pictures on their yet. but isn't it great to look at pictures of attractions, shopping, pubs, hotels, etc, rather than trawl through listings and addresses?
I think that if Navman can build up a big enough user-base that will start up-loading their own NavPix libraries they could be onto a real winner. The idea is that if you're going on holiday to say, Weymouth, you could upload a library of all the local tourist attractions, which could include Monkey World, Bovington Camp Tank Museum, Portland Bill, Weymouth Beach, Time-Walk, etc, then while you're relaxing in the sunshine, browse through the pictures on your Navman and choose where you want to go. Brilliant!
Will it catch on? I hope so. My earlier skepticism about the usefulness of NavPix has been replaced by real excitement - I think that next year all Sat Nav will have cameras, and if Navman could introduce Bluetooth as well, they could be unbeatable!
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