Friday, March 14, 2008

ASUS GPS to debut 3D realistic city maps

The Asus R700 is an upcoming detachable vehicle GPS unit that incorporates realistic 3D maps which look like something we might have seen in the film 'Total Recall' - very futuristic.

The technology could help drivers who are routinely confused in big cities with multiple lanes and daunting skyscrapers. While we wonder at the accuracy of the data and how the unit will fully illustrate the surroundings in high density areas, of a city like Sydney - we're all for new GPS technologies that help getting around easier. And we also wonder what happens to the GPS data in places that a little less populated outside of the cities.

The 4.3inch R700/R700t models sport Bluetooth 2.0 for clearer conversations and can even speak out the SMS content to allow drivers to get on with the job of driving. With 1GB of flash memory, a micro SD card slot, it gets everything chuggling along on a 400Mhz processor with the standard SiRF STAR III GPS chipset that most of the cheaper units rely on these days. The unit is not available in Australia yet, but is on the way.

A built in TMC (Traffic Message Channel) on the R700t unit will also serve to notify users of traffic delays and can automatically recalculate a new route for the user when the vehicle passes into a traffic obstruction. TMC services have appeared in Melbourne but are yet to launch in Sydney and other cities.

ASUS aren't the only ones pushing the 3D map idea. An English software company called 3Dlabs has already successfully trialled the idea at a number of trade shows across the world. The 3dlabs website has a few pics that give you an idea of how detailed the technology will appear in their GPS units.

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