updated 04:40 pm EST, Thu January 10, 2008
New Sony GPS units
Though not as well-known for them, Sony has announced two new in-car GPS units, the NV-U83T and U73T. Both systems support text-to-speech guidance, and show 2D and 3D views at the same time, so that users have a better sense of when to turn. Additionally, the units' touchscreens feature gesture shortcuts, so that a user can go home, call home, or zoom in and out without tapping through menus. 2GB of on-board flash memory comes pre-loaded with maps of Canada and the US, including regions such as Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Expansion is provided through a Memory Stick Pro Duo slot.
The U83T is the top-end model, equipped with a 4.8-inch screen, and a Bluetooth receiver for making hands-free phonecalls. To ensure that navigation is more reliable, it also contains Sony's Position Plus system, which uses a combination of pressure, acceleration and gyroscopic sensors to compensate when GPS signal is lost.
The U73T has a 4.3-inch screen, and likewise strips out Bluetooth and Position Plus for the sake for cost. The units are expected to ship to the US in "early spring," and will cost $500 and $350 respectively.