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Next stop for PNDs: Real-time two-way connectivity

Posted: 18 Apr 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:navigation service? PND? Wi-Fi? personal navigation device?

The advent of connected navigation services such as real-time traffic, live local search and map updates is prompting many vendors to develop connected personal navigation device (PND) solutions with two-way real-time connectivity based on cellular or Wi-Fi technology. ABI Research forecasts that by 2013, 34 percent of all PNDs will ship with on-board connectivity.

"What's at stake is the generation of new recurring revenue streams in an increasingly competitive PND market characterized by spectacular price erosion. In order to be successful, connected PND vendors will have to design seamless solutions and compelling services, and adopt the right business model," said ABI principal analyst Dominique Bonte. "They will have to embrace open development platforms to stimulate the design of third-party applications."

Connectivity allows PND vendors to offer enhanced navigation experiences through optimized local search, dynamic POIs such as fuel prices, parking space availability and speed traps, real-time traffic and flow data, satellite imagery, online map updates, and even full off-board navigation. It also makes it possible to launch new services such as location-based social networking applications and to use PNDs as commercial portable telematics devices for vehicle and asset tracking.

The most promising aspect of two-way connectivity is its ability to upload data in real time. This allows companies such as Dash to deploy connected PNDs as passive probes to collect real-time traffic flow information and redistribute it to customers. PNDs will now be used for the upload of user generated content such as map corrections, POIs and recommendations by communities. Upstream connectivity will also enable connected PND users to post their live locations on social networking sites.

All this will be facilitated by an emerging ecosystem providing tailored solutions for all levels of the value chain, such as dedicated chipsets for CE navigation devices from Qualcomm, a dedicated wireless connectivity solution from Jasper Wireless, a connected navigation platform from deCarta and a user interface framework from Intrinsyc.

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