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GPS obsessed

29 August 2018

Going the Extra Mile with a GPS Tracker

by Greg Bartlett / Guest Author

Suppose you are among the thousands of Americans who could stand to shed a few pounds this year. You know that the experts say exercise is a key to getting and keeping the weight off. You’re committed—at least mentally—to the benefits of walking and/or jogging, but you have not been as consistent as you need to be. Here’s good news for you! GPS trackers are now available that allow you to use a cell phone in tandem with GPS technology in order to help you accomplish your goal. Several manufacturers have models of cell phones that can be equipped to monitor your walking or running workout and provide feedback about your progress.

GPS tracking systems that monitor you as you work out utilize GPS (Global Positioning System) technology based on a series of satellites that continuously orbit Earth and send back signal. Triangulating the signal from three of these satellites permits the GPS tracker to pinpoint any location to within just a few feet. In GPS tracking systems that monitor your exercise your cell phone acts as the receiver of the signal and allows the GPS satellites to track you as you run.

Several features of a GPS tracker for individuals as they exercise make the idea attractive to owners of cell phones. First, you can map out your route ahead of time and then follow your progress as you make your way over your course. As you do so, you will be able to accurately record details such as the distance you’ve traveled and the number of calories burned. You’ll also know your speed and how long you’ve been working out. You’ll know the steepness of hills on your route. You’ll be able to log your workouts over time and then upload the statistics to your computer or to the web for additional analysis. This also allows you to follow your progress over time. When you’ve had a particularly good workout or have reached a milestone that you’d like others to share with you, you have the option of posting your information or Twitter, Facebook or another social network. Using such a system also provides an extra level of safety to you. If you get injured or need assistance for any reason, you know your exact location and can relay it to those coming to assist you.

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Review: i-gotU GT-600 GPS Travel & Sports Logger

GT 600 box Review: i gotU GT 600 GPS Travel & Sports Logger

Taiwan’s Mobile Action was kind enough to let me try the new i-gotU GT-600 USB GPS Travel Logger in order to compare it to the previously reviewed GT-120. The new model has a few new features that I found useful and a few others I didn’t, though others might. But let us start with the specs.

The Basics

The GT-600 measures a bit larger in dimension and is slightly heavier than the GT-120. Still small enough to stick in your pocket, or attach to your clothing with the included velcro strap, at 46 x 41.5 x 14 millimeters, the GT-600 weighs 37 grams and packs in a SiRF Star III 65nm low power GPS chipset, 64 MB of flash memory for storing 262, 000 waypoints, and a built-in 750 mAh rechargeable lithium ion battery.

The GT-600 also features a motion detector which turn the GPS receiver on and off when you start and stop your activity. This is one of the new features I appreciate because the GT-600 still utilizes blue and red LEDs to indicate a GPS fix (simultaneous blinking signifies GPS tracking). I sometimes forget whether I have turned the device on or off with the flashing light confusion. Speaking of the LEDs, I’m happy to say they are much brighter than they were with the GT-120. In the previous logger I had trouble seeing the lights under the daytime, outdoor sky.

The GT-600 also works as a USB GPS receiver for laptops or netbooks and includes Where I Am software that plots your real-time location on Google Maps, Bing Maps or Yahoo Maps. This is a great feature if you’re driving around in an unfamiliar location and don’t have a PND or GPS-equipped cellphone with you. The USB 1.1 connection is also used for charging the GT-600 and for uploading GPS data to the included @trip software which plots your waypoints on a Google Map interface.

As with the GT-120, the @trip software included with the GT-600 enables you to create a web-based travel blog, plot your distance, speed and altitude on 3D maps, and enables the addition of time-synchronized, geotagged photos which can be uploaded to the Picasa or Flickr photo-sharing websites.

The Good

The GT-600 acquired a GPS fix within the claimed 35 seconds this time around, a huge improvement from my experience with the GT-120. As I already mentioned, I really like the motion -based auto on/off feature and the brighter LEDs.

The Bad

I preferred the smaller form factor of the GT-120 but the GT-600 isn’t much bigger and makes up for it with much more power and functionality (this could also be listed under The Good. Trade-offs, I guess. I’m also surprised that the @trip software hasn’t changed much since my last review during the summer of 2009. The world of connected software is so fast moving I’d almost expect a completely new and improved user interface by now. I’d also expect Mobile Action to do a better job of promoting its online @trip social network which could use a little more user engagement by the looks of it.

The Bottom Line

The i-gotU GT-600 USB GPS travel logger, like the GT-120, qualifies as a perfectly reliable solution for recreational athletes and travelers. As a runner currently training for a marathon I’ve been happy using the GT-600 as an aid that enables me to track my routes and other location-based training data. Now Mobile Action just needs to make some prettier software and a wireless solution for uploading GPS data to your PC!

If you plan on purchasing a GT-600, please consider this blog by Amazon.

Update: In this review I overlooked some key changes made in the @trip software. My apologies for this. In fact, Mobile Action has added Sports Analyzer and Where Am I?, two new and usable features not available back in the summer of ‘09. Photo Locator is another new feature that enables users to add and geotag photos without manually adding them to the map. All in all, Mobile Action has made strides to improve the @trip software and should be recognized for that! You can find more details regarding the changes.

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TomTom ProClip car kit allows permanent iPhone mount

tomtom proclip TomTom ProClip car kit allows permanent iPhone mount

TomTom on Friday introduced its second iPhone car mount. This time, however, the mount is a screw-on attachment for a secure ProClip dashboard mount. This differs from its adjustable windshield mount released in 2009.

The company’s second iPhone GPS mount features all the specifications of the first car kit including a built-in GPS receiver, microphone and speaker, an in-car charger and an audio output for listening to iTunes through the vehicle stereo.

The TomTom ProClip car kit is available for pre-order now for £99.99.


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AIS Mobile Rugged PDA is tough

ais pda AIS Mobile Rugged PDA is tough

AIS has introduced the Mobile Rugged PDA, probably the most rugged looking of rugged devices I’ve ever seen. Running on Windows Mobile 6.1 and powered by a 624MHz Marvell PXA270 processor, the Mobile Rugged PDA features a 240 x 320 pixel, 3.7-inch display (a 480 x 640 pixel upgrade is optional), Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, optional 3G and GPS, 256 MB of built-in storage, 256 MB of RAM, and a variety of ports including one Ethernet and a microSD card slot. The Mobile Rugged PDA is MIL-STD810F/461F rated for resistance to dust, shock and all the other fun stuff and IP67 rated for water resistance. Shipping on an as-yet-unknown date, the AIS Mobile Rugged PDA will have an MSRP of $1, 899.


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Ski gloves now record your GPS coordinates

ski glove gps

ski glove gps Ski gloves now record your GPS coordinates

Austria’s Zanier have announced a ski glove model with integrated GPS. Dubbed the X-Plore.XGX, the gloves help you follow a route or get back to your car along with recording important ski-related info such as altitude, speed and distance. Information is displayed on a monochrome display placed on thumb while the controls are located on top of the glove. And Zanier doesn’t skimp on the material either, using Gore-Tex X-Trafit to ensure you’ll always have warm hands. On the hill the X-Plore.XGX is powered by a lithium-ion battery and once back at the lodge users can hook the gloves into a USB port and upload all the recorded info to a PC.


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Travel the Trans-Siberian Railway using Google Maps (Mashups)

Google Russia and Russian railways have teamed up to put together a fascinating multiplatform mashup of the Trans-Siberian railroad journey. During August 2009, two video crews travelled the normally 6-day, 5, 753 mile journey from Moscow to Vladivostok in 30 days in order to acquire 150 hours of high-definition video footage. Using a combination of Youtube and Google Maps, armchair travellers can enjoy a simulated journey through 87 Russian cities, 2 continents and 7 times zones. If the clickety-clack of trains wheels clipping along the track isn’t appealing, viewers can enjoy a Russian reading of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace in the background!  


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Gobandit HD camcorder with GPS for extreme athletes

gobandit camcorder Gobandit HD camcorder with GPS for extreme athletes

Given the amount of running I’m doing lately and my goal of running an extreme ultramarathon sometime in the next 2 years or so, the Gobandit HD digital camcorder is definitely something I’d like to try out. Billed as the “world’s first digital HD action camera”, the Gobandit is targeted at videographers/athletes participating in extreme sports with fast-moving action. The Gobandit can shoot video in SD or HD, the latter maxing out at 720p resolution and 30 frames per second. The gadget can also take still shots in 3 to 5 second intervals at 5 megapixels and save everything in the 2 GB of built-in memory space or on an up-to-32-GB SDHC card. Like many digital cameras and camcorders coming to market in 2010, the Gobandit also incorporates a GPS chip so that it can record location, altitude, speed, distance and other location-specific variables suitable to the extreme athlete. The waterproof camera will ship in April though it can be pre-ordered now for £299.99 ($473). Gobandit HD camcorder with GPS.


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Mitsubishi nr-hz001dp in car gps entertainment system coming to japan

Mitsubishi nr-hz001dp in car gps


Greatly improved operability with the use of originally developed HMI (Human Machine Interface) named “Multi-relay Operations”, where operational sequence of 4 tools, touch panel, voice recognition, remote control and driving control, has been made common
Advanced voice recognition technology

(1) About 10 million vocabulary entries have been registered nationwide and search can be made on the scale of up to one million entries by prefectures.

(2) From user’s speech, whose expression is not even accurate enough, multiple keywords are picked up and what was said is recognized.

Standard features include a terrestrial digital TV tuner whose reception performance has further been improved by a newly developed receiver circuit.

Built-in Bluetooth®

(1) Hands-free call can be made whilst linked with a Bluetooth® compatible cellular phone.

(2) Gracenote®’s music database and information is downloadable.

Visual city map that display realistically and finely the landscape of major intersections
Traffic jam forecast function by means of statistical processing of traffic jam data for the past 3 years and also reflecting the day-of-the-week and the seasonal factors
Compatible with iPod and USB memory audio (requiring an adapter separately sold)
Loaded with a high-capacity music file in which about 3,000 music numbers can be recorded
Built-in SD card slot allows you to import photo data and to replay compressed audio sources.
Loaded hz001dp with “SRS CS Auto” that has realized the pseudo stereophonic surround sound effect equivalent to 5.1ch Dolby Digital nr- HZ001DP

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