» Despite Breakthrough Gadgets, Sat Navs Will Hold Strong

123Despite Breakthrough Gadgets, Sat Navs Will Hold Strong

As smartphone and tablet technology is pushed to the limit, mobile manufacturers would like the world to think that these devices can carry out any job imaginable. A smartphone can capture video one moment and act as a GPS the next. What this really results in is lower-quality videos and somewhat unpredictable directions as most mobile technology relies on spotty signals in high mobility situations. For manufacturers of dedicated sat navs, this means that their uni-tasking devices still have a place in the market.

Performance Unparalleled
One of the key features that can make smartphones and tablets unreliable as directional GPS units is their lack of dedicated maps. These mobile devices rely on a 3G or 4G connection while on the move to continually update maps and directions. Unfortunately, download speeds in high mobility situations are unpredictable at best.

Sat nav units have been pre-installed with global maps that can be quickly downloaded and updated via a hard line connection to a computer or a wireless connection with a satellite. For many drivers, this is enough reason to push for a Sat Nav device to complement their smartphone or tablet. Luckily for these customers, companies such as TomTom have decided they are going to stay true to their portable navigation devices (PNDs) and at the same time take a page from social media to make their products more appealing.
Getting Connected

Sometimes, travelers are looking for just a little something more than directions. They are looking to remain connected with friends, find the best places to go in town, and book their reservations ahead of time. This is why TomTom and other manufacturers have begun working with titans such as Yelp, Expedia, and Google to make their GPS units a PND and so much more. At the end of 2011 and beginning of 2012, owners of these devices will be able to search out their favorite restaurants by customer rating and then request an early check-in at their hotel a moment later.

TomTom has also worked alongside Twitter to offer a handful of new features with their next generation of navigational units. Drivers will be able to update others on their location and estimated time of arrival without constant phone calls or text messages. While even the management of TomTom is predicting as much as a 20% drop in sales over the next year, it seems that sat navs will hold strong with a few of these tricks up their sleeves.

Guest author David Novak of new gadgets website TheGadgetGuyColumn shares his insight on the future of Sat Nav.

Note: Photo courtesy of mikebabcock via FlickR Creative Commons.