December 5, 2007
TomTom, a maker of personal navigation devices, said Wednesday that customers can now use Google's mapping service to find business addresses and then transfer them via a computer to a TomTom gadget.
In delivering the new feature, TomTom said it is leveraging the "send to GPS" option on Google Maps. The option uses satellite transmissions in finding and mapping to locations on the ground. Clicking on Google's GPS option after locating a business address sends the information to TomTom Home, the company's desktop application for managing, updating, and sending data via a PC or Apple Mac to a variety of TomTom devices, including its car navigation systems. Once the data is stored in Home, it can be transferred to a TomTom device via Bluetooth or wired connection. People can view the location on a map displayed in the TomTom device, which can provide directions to the address. The location can also be saved for a future trip. TomTom have given customers the option of downloading information from the Web through TomTom Home, and then transferring the data to the company's TomTom Go and One products, for quite awhile. Among the major features of the software is the ability to download and update street maps. "The ability to search, find and send information from the Web to a TomTom is something we have been investing in for some time now," Eric Pite, VP of product management at TomTom, said in a statement."We are pleased to work together with Google Maps on this personalization functionality." Last month, TomTom launched in Europe a gadget called TomTom One XL High Definition Traffic that delivers drivers up-to-date traffic conditions. The information is delivered to the in-car device over a cellular network. The device is available in the Netherlands, and the company plans to make it available in other countries starting early next year. TomTom, which is one of the world's largest makers of navigation systems, has announced plans to buy digital data map provider Tele Atlas NV for $4.2 billion. The move followed Nokia's purchase of Tele Atlas rival Navteq for $8.1 billion.
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