Have you ever tried to find your way across town (or across the country) using an old-fashioned road map? The only thing trickier than deciphering the directions, is figuring out how to re-fold the map! Today’s travelers are finding it much easier to find their way with GPS receivers, PDA devices and Bluetooth technology.
The need for traditional maps and navigational devices has virtually disappeared since GPS devices hit the market. Now, travelers can simply refer to the GPS screen to access clear direction on where they need to go.
GPS receivers are small electronic devices that work by calculating your precise location on earth. This location is found by decoding signals received from satellites in outer space. Using additional electronics and software, it’s then possible for the GPS to pinpoint an exact location on a map. This incredible technology is available at a relatively small price.
GPS receivers become even more useful and convenient when paired with other mobile devices. A PDA is a popular consumer product that is easily used along with a GPS. PDAs have hard drive space to allow for map storage and colored screens to display maps, making them ideal technological GPS partners. When one takes into account the small size and weight of a compact PDA as compared to options such as laptop computers, it’s easy to see why PDAs are the choice of today’s tech-savvy travelers.
There is sometimes a problem with the integration of GPS receivers with PDAs. Connection between the two units is usually made using either conventional USB wires, or a CompactFlash (CF) CARD. The size of the GPS and PDA units together, and added to the added bulk of the CF card, can create a cumbersome traveler’s tool. On the other hand, using USB wires is inconvenient and limits the overall usability of the navigation device. Many people, therefore, are turning to Bluetooth technology as the perfect traveler’s companion.
Rescued by Bluetooth
Bluetooth technology is widely known as the standard for modern wireless communication. This system allows two electronic devices, such as a GPS and PDA, to send and receive signals, transfer data and “communicate” with each other. The information is shared without wires.
Bluetooth GPS Receivers
Bluetooth GPS receivers are electronic devices that use wireless technology or Bluetooth electronics to transmit GPS data. This data is transmitted to a second mobile device that is capable of handling the same technology. In other words, a Bluetooth GPS receiver can send data to a PDA, provided that PDA is also equipped with built-in Bluetooth capabilities.
Of course, this combination of devices offers many advantages to modern travelers. As an alternative to cumbersome USB wires or bulky CompactFlash, Bluetooth technology provides several benefits:
Many drivers prefer to have the GPS mounted securely positioned, while keeping the PDA where it can be clearly viewed. Bluetooth allows this wire-free convenience. You are able to position your Bluetooth GPS receiver in a spot where it can clearly pick up signals from the sky, while your PDA is mounted on the dashboard in front of you. There are no wires to hamper your driving or obstruct your view.
CompactFlash Slot Space
If you are using Bluetooth technology to transmit data, you’ll have no need to plug in a CompactFlash card. The empty CF slot, therefore, can be used as a storage space for software or maps to further optimize the results of your GPS.
Many travelers are able to get even greater benefits from their GPS receivers. Some units come with handy companion features like pre-stored maps, route re-calculation (perfect in the case of road detours) and POI (points of interest) databases that show you popular tourist attractions en route.
Learn more about the benefits of using GPS and PDA on your next trip, and then shop around for the models that best suit your needs. You’ll spend less time trying to find your way, and more time having fun with your family.