TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Where Would You be Without GPS?

Where Would You be Without GPS?

Monty Solomon (
Wed, 21 Feb 2007 21:18:32 -0500

Perhaps carrying fewer gadgets: The technology is being added to
shoes, MP3 players, even dogs ...

By Carolyn Y. Johnson, Globe Staff | February 19, 2007

To the true technophile, personal digital devices are more anatomy
than accessory, and the physical world is kind of a nuisance. A simple
trip to the mall can be a distraction: You actually have to look up
from your screen. Consumer electronics makers seem determined to
change that.

Over the past two years, location-awareness technology has been
spreading from hand-held digital compasses onto cellphones, laptops,
dashboards, and even dog collars, often to comedic effect.

This month, GTX Corp. launched a line of Xplorer Smart GPS shoes that
transform sneakers into a wearable LoJack system. Late last year,
designer Isaac Daniel introduced a limited-edition GPS shoe, complete
with a built-in distress button.

RoamEO for Pets began shipping units this month that transform up to
three dogs frolicking in the backyard into moving paws on a radar
screen; GPS giant Garmin International Inc. makes a version, too,
called the Astro GPS Dog Tracking System.

Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. has built a GPS accessory for its
PlayStation Portable, currently available only in Japan, that allows
game players to careen their cars into the side of a building, then
flip to driving directions and safely steer to a grocery store.

The iRiver W10, an MP3 and video player coming this spring, will use
technology developed by a Boston company to help "urban explorers"
find nearby restaurants or shops -- without having to look away from
the music video in their palm.

What exactly is the rationale behind this wide range of products?

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