updated 11:00 am EDT, Tue September 12, 2006
Garmin Bluetooth GPS
Obtaining GPS navigation for laptops, smartphones, and other portable devices is difficult without a physical (and often proprietary) cable. Bluetooth solutions exist but are generally rare. Garmin thus becomes the first North American company to truly make Bluetooth GPS available on a wider scale through today's announcement of two new GPS units designed to pair with common mobile hardware. The Mobile 10 (pictured) is a general-purpose GPS receiver that can connect wirelessly to most PCs, PocketPC handhelds, and either Palm or Windows Mobile smartphones to provide real-time GPS data. A replaceable battery gives the Mobile 10 up to 22 hours of battery life; it can also be charged in a vehicle through a 12-volt charging cable or carried outside of the car on a belt clip. The Mobile 20, in turn, is designed explicitly for car use and revolves around a suction mount that cradles and powers a Palm, Symbian, or Windows Mobile smartphone while transmitting GPS maps. Both GPS units can take advantage of more advanced GPS features such as hands-free calling, traffic re-routing, and improved tracking through WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System). Garmin expects the Mobile 10 and 20 to both be available by November for $199 and $299 respectively. A photo of the Mobile 20 is available after the jump.