Personal navigation assistant


Personal navigation assistant

A Personal Navigation Assistant (PNA) also known as Personal Navigation Device or Portable Navigation Device (PND) is a portable electronic product which combines a positioning capability (such as GPS) and navigation functions.

Some PNA devices are PDAs with limited features and can be unlocked. [ [http://mio.digiwalker.googlepages.com/unlockmio See here how to "unlock" Mio made PNAs] ] .

History

The earliest PNAs were hand-held GPS units (circa mid 1980s) which were capable of displaying the user's location on an electronic map. These units included simple navigation functions such as course-to-steer and course-made-good. This first generation of PNAs were used by the US military.

Market Developments

The term PNA has come into widespread use with the growing popularity of automobile navigation systems. The latest generation of PNA have sophisticated navigation functions and feature a variety of user interfaces including maps, turn-by-turn guidance and voice instructions. To reduce total cost of ownership and time to market, most modern PNA devices such as those made by Garmin Ltd., Mio Technology Ltd. or TomTom International BV. are running an off-the-shelf embedded operating system such as Windows CE or Embedded Linux on commodity hardware with OEM versions of popular PDA Navigation software packages such as TomTom Navigator, I-GO 2006, Netropa IntelliNav iGuidance, or Destinator.

Other manufacturers like Navman, Garmin and Magellan prefer to bundle their own software developed in house. Because many of these devices use an embedded OS, many technically inclined users find it easy to modify PNAs to run third party software and use them for things other than navigation, such as a low-cost audio-video player or PDA replacement.

Meantime, Nokia, Samsung Electronics, Motorola. and other handset makers will sell 162 million GPS phones in 2007, dwarfing the 20 million units Garmin and TomTom have forecast they will sell combined, according to iSuppli,a leading market researcher in California. Indications are that PNA will be rapidly integrated into mobile phones in the years to come.

References

ee also

* GPS navigation device
* PDA
* Car navigation
* OpenTom Project [http://opentom.org] and the Windows CE GPS unlocking pages on GPSPassion [http://gpspassion.com/fr/articles.asp?id=147] for more information on PNA hacking.


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