Portable GPS form vs. function

While pricey, Garmin’s nuvi portable navigation devices have been a big hit for the company, so much so that it’s attracting interest from other Mio-Tech with products such as the H610, another “crossover” device that combines pocket-sized portability with turn-by-turn directions. It’s usually hard to say no to smaller and the H610 looks like a nice blend.

However, are turn-by-turn directions really the right target for a handheld product that better addresses the urban jungle than a forest trail? Wouldn’t it be great to have a product that let you know about shortcuts through parks and other places where no vehicle (at least one with a sober driver) would dare tread? Alas, I doubt the city navigator market will be large enough for many years to create a whole new navigation system designed for pedestrians. However, I’d settle for an integrated version of HopStop.

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