Navigation equipment maker Talon Technology is to use a $900,000 grant from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology to fund the development of built-in car navigation devices which it will take to the 200 million vehicle US market next year, Talon president Peter Maire says.
“We’re on the path to providing genuine navigation products that can be built in to a car or ordered as an accessory.
“The funding has allowed us to build a team of software engineers who are totally focused on land navigation.”
Talon has been a marine navigation equipment company for most of its life, moving into land navigation only recently.
“The strategy we have is to provide low cost, powerful navigation solutions and our target is the US market, with 200 million cars and 20 million new cars made every year.”
Talon is partnering with several major US companies on the built-in devices.
“We’ve struck a tremendous deal with Intel, for example and will be using their x scale processor.”
As well as its size, the US market is attractive because it has a low penetration of existing built-in car navigation technology, Maire says.
“The main barrier to greater interest in the US that prices are too high, around $US1500.”
He wouldn’t say what Talon’s devices will cost, but says they will “break a major price barrier”.
Meanwhile, Talon is preparing to launch a global positioning system (GPS) receiver for the Compaq iPaq in the US and Europe in October.
“It will be jointly branded with Compaq and under Talon’s brand, Navman.”
The mapping component of the software in both releases will be provided by US mapping giant Rand McNally, which Talon first teamed up with 18 months ago to lauch GPS receivers able to be connected to PDAs and laptop computers.
*Maire says there are six million navigation-equipment fitted cars in the world, 4.5 million of them in Japan and projections are for the worldwide number to increase by 2.5 million in the next year.