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Sony portable navigation

Mark Peters
CES report
Wednesday 9th, January 2008
Posted by: Mark Peters

For drivers focused on ease-of-use, Sony Electronics is unveiling its latest nav-u personal navigation devices (models NV-U73T and NV-U83T). These in-car portable systems contain navigation features that drivers have come to expect, such as text-to-speech voice commands and real-time-traffic capability. They also add new, Sony original safety features, such as the super suction cup mounting system.

Sony portable navigation

Sony NV-U73T navigation - Digital audio
“Our aim was to develop the easiest-to-use navigation devices to get you to your destination,” said Brennan Mullin, vice president of marketing in Sony Electronics’ Digital Audio and Imaging Division. “We are also focused on safety.” Sony’s new super suction cup comes with both models. It is easy to mount on the windshield or dashboard, providing a tight, virtually unmovable attachment. Made with a flexible non-adhesive gel, it grips the rugged surface of the dashboard so the touch screen can be mounted closer for an easier reach. Designed to stay put even in the most extreme temperatures, the super suction cup can also be easily removed and transferred to another vehicle.

Sony NV-U83T navigation - Bluetooth
The high-end NV-U83T model adds another safety feature - Bluetooth technology - for making hands-free phone calls. With a built-in microphone, drivers can use voice commands to initiate calls via compatible Bluetooth-enabled cell phones. The nav-u system connects automatically so drivers can keep their hands on the steering wheel and their eyes on the road. This new model has a large, 4.8-inch (screen size measured diagonally), 16 x 9 aspect ratio touch-screen display and ultra-thin footprint.

Sony navigation - High resolution
With anti-glare coating, it is easy to see the screen in any lighting conditions. With its high resolution, the device maintains a clear image even when the screen is split into two images. This unique dual view feature helps drivers navigate visually so they don’t have to rely solely on street signs. It zooms in and shows certain landmarks to help drivers make the correct turns at the right time. On the freeway, dual view shows a 3D rendition of the approaching intersection with lane guide information to let drivers know exactly where they need to be to negotiate the junction.

Sony NV-U73T navigation - Position Plus
When the GPS signal is weak, the nav-u device will still be able to keep drivers headed in the right direction. Another unique feature, called Position Plus, provides constant, more accurate Positioning and assured interruption-free guidance. In addition to the SiRF Star III GPS chip, Position Plus includes a pressure sensor, gyro sensor and an acceleration sensor. The nav-u device uses these additional sensors to calibrate where drivers are so they can safely plan ahead and won’t miss turns coming out of tunnels or from in-between tall buildings.

Sony portable navigation - Gesture command
Yet another unique new Sony function, gesture command, lets drivers jump to commands with one stroke on the touch-screen display, eliminating the need to dig down on the menu. If drivers want to go home, they just draw a roof (or inverted “V”) and the destination becomes home. Other gesture command features include take me home, zoom in or out and call home. The nav-u device is the first Sony portable navigation device to show brand icons for restaurants hotels, gas stations and stores. In addition to proactively selecting a point of interest, drivers will automatically see brand icons appear on the screen so it fast and easy to find favorite locations while driving in unfamiliar cities.

Sony GPS navigation - Text to Speech
Ready to use right out of the box, both nav-u devices help drivers map a destination, locate points of interest and find home again. Both models come with text-to-speech technology, which enables the voice prompts to actually say the name of the street or highway. A powerful speaker ensures that voice prompts are clear and audible. The nav-u systems come with nearly 5 million points of interest, making it easy to find destinations nationwide. The devices come with U.S. and Canadian maps on their 2GB flash memory. Maps of Alaska, Canada, Hawaii and Puerto Rico also come pre-installed.

Sony portable navigation

Sony NV-U73T navigation - LCD Display
About as deep as a deck of cards, the new devices have a thin, portable design. They also come with a Memory Stick Pro Duo slot for future expansion capabilities. The NV-U73T model comes with a 4.3-inch (screen size measured diagonally), 16 x 9 aspect ratio display. Its features include text-to-speech functionality, the dual view feature, super suction cup mounting system and gesture command. The NV-U83T device features all of this plus Bluetooth hands-free calling capability, a larger display and Position Plus signal management.

Sony navigation - Price & Availability
Pre-orders for the nav-u portable navigation devices are now being accepted at the SonyStyle website. The devices are expected to be available in early spring direct at SonyStyle, at Sony Style retail stores nationwide, at military base exchanges, and at authorized dealers around the country. The NV-U73T and NV-U83T models are expected to sell for about $350 and $500, respectively.

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