German mobile phone operator, T-Mobile, is offering one of the world’s first mobile phone-based navigation systems using three different wireless technologies.
T-Mobile’s NaviGate BlueKit makes use of Global Packet Radio Service (GPRS) mobile data, cordless Bluetooth and Global Position System (GPS) satellite technology, allowing customers to transform mobile phones into car navigation systems.
The service, launched in Germany last week, will be available in other European markets later in the year.
The technology works like this: In the vehicle is a GPRS-enabled phone equipped with the NaviGate software, that users can install themselves. The phone connects to a small GPS receiver mounted in the vehicle via Bluetooth cordless technology.
When users enter a destination that information is transmitted over the GPRS network to T-Mobile’s traffic server, which calculates a route and sends the data back to the mobile phone.
As users travel, they are tracked by the GPS system, which sends signals to the phone activating voice messages and phone displays with route instructions, similar to navigation systems that store route data in CDs and are installed in cars today.