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India: Trailblazer, Special Motorcycle-Only GPS Launched

19
January
2010
  Posted at 01:00:00 PM
  File under  Gadgets GPS New Products
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
click to see India on a map

Hmmm. We've seen a lot of GPS navigation gear for motorcycles over the last few years, from big names down to supermarket level GPSs. Almost all the motorcycle specific GPSs have the same functions; navigation, map display and usually Bluetooth to communicate with the rider.

But in India, MapMyIndia Open link in a new window have launched a different motorcycle-specific GPS. Called the TrailBlazer, it is touted as the first Indian GPS for superbikes (I guess superbikes are motorcycles bigger than 125cc....)..

What sets it apart from its counterparts (yes, it displays maps, it's waterproof, it does turn-by-turn navigation, etc), is that it communicates with the rider via FM radio! That's right, FM radio. There's an idea that is very interesting. You may ask why is FM interesting over Bluetooth. There shouldn't be any difference between Bluetooth and FM for the rider, but it is interesting if you're riding in a small group. It allows for one TrailBlazer to provide navigation instruction to the whole group, as long as they have an FM receiver. The unit broadcasts at the 88Mhz frequency, so all you need is a FM radio receiver. In India, many mobile phones use FM radio, so this allows bikers in a group to "tune in" on the leader.

However, the range of the FM transmitter is low, about 10 meters. So you'll not be able to cover several hundred bikers, but you can have a few friends piggybacking onto your navigation. You can use the FM transmitter to listen to music while riding.

TrailBlazer GPS

The map is preloaded with a complete map for India, including 620 detailed cities. Although the unit is a touchscreen, you are not able to operate it with gloves.This was done on purpose for safety reasons. Setting the destination coordinates should be done when the motorcycle is at a standstill. Volume control is in the headset, so no need to touch the screen.

The unit itself is powered from the bike's 12V system, but carries a 2.5 hour lasting battery. The TrailBlazer GPS will be sold for Rs. 18,990 (some US$415).

Click here to access MapMyIndia Open link in a new window.







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