Getting from A to B is becoming much easier thanks to the continued growth of navigational devices. There have become so popular that many people use them in every aspect of their life, from driving to going on a run, sailing the seas and finding our way to a business meeting. We have become so reliant on these gadgets that we barely need to touch a traditional map.
This is a huge market that is crucial to many different industries including shipping, automotive and even the mobile phone industry. Most people will probably come across navigation gadgets and use them to make their lives easier, and get from one place to another safely and without any hassle. The big question is what will be the most useful navigation gadgets for 2013?
In Your Car
There are two key competitors when it comes to in-car navigation, Garmin and TomTom. Garmin have released the 2013 nüvi® line and they claim that these devices are ‘real navigation’ and their ‘Garmin Real Voice’ navigation makes it feel like you are driving with a friend. Instead of using alien street names, it picks out landmarks that are easy to see.
Anyone who has used older sat navs will at some point got confused as to which lane to move into. Some devices only tell you which turning to take, not which lane to go in which can be frustrating and dangerous. It also uses HD digital traffic, which is free and covers a larger area. With 3D buildings, voice activated navigation and bird’s eye view junctions, this clever device will be hard to beat.
The latest series in the TomTom family is the Go Live series. The most expensive model, the Go Live World will set you back £299. It has HD traffic and Go Live services, a 13 cm multi touch screen and hands-free navigation. It seems TomTom have been focusing more on apps and updates for their products, they recently launched an app for their taxi service, which is currently only available in the Netherlands.
On Your Phone
You can get navigation apps for your phone from Garmin, Google maps, TomTom and a whole host of other companies. If you are constantly on the go and need to negotiate your way through big cities then having a navigation app on your phone can be a lifesaver.
You also have the choice between free and paid for navigation apps, but some of the paid ones are definitely worth the investment for hard core travellers and business professionals. This year, Nokia and Microsoft are releasing a turn by turn navigation app for people who own a Windows 8 mobile. Don’t be surprised if the free navigation apps start becoming more competitive in terms of quality this year.
On Board Your Ship
Navigation is not an important part of getting around at sea, it is a vital safety precaution. Precise route planning and accurate location monitoring are key to a safe journey through the seas. One of the ways you can accurately monitor your location, avoid hazards and navigate safely is by using and ECDIS, which means Electronic Chart Display and Information System. It is now a legal requirement for all ships, regardless of size or type.
Seamen previously used paper navigation charts to help them find their way. However, the ECDIS can be used instead, by providing a hi-tech electronic solution to the problem of navigation. This intelligent device uses real time information so that it can clearly show where a ship is located.
2013 is likely to be a big year for navigational devices, especially on phones and tablet devices. People want to quickly and easily work out their location and mobile navigation apps are the quickest way to do this. We might not be buying as many cars this year, but it’s definitely tempting to buy the latest intuitive models by major in car navigation brands.