Magellan Navigation Inc. is working with search giant Google to add Google services to its new GPS device. The user will be able to see live traffic data and search local business listings via the device.
The new Magellan Maestro Elite 5340 + GPRS will be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And the real news here is that Magellan will partner with Google to provide many of Google’s services for this device.
The Magellan device will have GPRS cellular capability through which customers can get up-to-date information from the Web such as real-time traffic conditions, nearest restaurant locations, etc.
In previous devices, all data had to be preloaded onto a GPS so users were restricted to using whatever info was preloaded, which sometimes does not fit their preference, and it does not stay up-to-date. The new GPS using Google's services will allow a user to search for new and specific business information.
When a user types “Pizza” into Google on the new Magellan device, they will be provided with relevant results near their current location, including Web-based recommendations. Users can also send information wirelessly to their devices, including places they find on other computers, or recommendations from friends.
However, these features don’t come cheap: Users have to shell out $1,299 for this Maestro Elite 5340 + GPRS and a monthly fee for the GPRS service.
This will help both Magellan and Google; Magellan will be able to add services such as live traffic services and updated business information, that it can’t do it by itself, while Google can improve its Maps and local search services with this partnership.
If they add this service for other GPS devices, I think it is a great thing because it combines the best of both worlds: GPS and the Web.