So last week I decided to give my directionally challenged spouse an early holiday gift…a window-mounted Garmin i5 GPS…and we tried it out on our trip to Connecticut this weekend. All I can say is “Oh. My. Goodness.” Now I fully admit to being naive about many things technological. But this little device is just blowing me away. Not only does “Abigail” (so named by my daughter) give us incredibly accurate directions no matter where I want to go, she can also find all sorts of kewl stuff that will surely (if it hasn’t already) render the yellow pages and 411 obsolete. Kids want a tuna sub? Hmmm…let’s see…the nearest Subway is 1.6 miles away…start navigating…we’ll be there at 12:34…go straight, make a left at the light, park.
Or on our way home I remembered that I’d forgotten my LCD to MacBook connector at one of my recent presentations and needed a new one. Could Abigail know where the nearest Apple Store might be? Um…yeah. Even gave me the phone number so I could find out if it was open. (I know, I know…there must be a built in system that will even dial the number for you…) Start navigating…be there in 14 minutes…but, sweet bejeepers it’s a huge mall crawling with shoppers…hurry, Abigail…navigate me HOME. “In point two miles, turn right then stay left…” Ahhh…peace.
Abby (my nickname for her) knows every street, shows rivers and lakes (when we were on the Tappan Zee Bridge her little monitor blazed blue aside from our narrow strip of road) and will even tell us how fast we’re going. (I wasn’t going nearly as fast as I thought I was.) But the best part is knowing exactly when we’re going to arrive at wherever it is we’re going.
Aside, of course, our final destination…
Sue King says
How nice those “gifts” for spouses work out!
I too recently used the great new invention when I went to the conference in Rochester. For someone who can’t read street signs until I’m right on top of them, especially when it is snowing out, it was very handy! I borrowed one from my nephew, but plan to purchase one soon, as it will be very handy for when my spouse decides we need a map like “right away” to tell where we need to turn. No need for those map reading skills anymore… also very hard to do when the reading glasses are no where to be found!
Kevin Jarrett says
Ah! Welcome to the world of satellite navigation! Soon these units will be standard in cars … just as ABS brakes are now.
The technology *IS* cool but just FYI, it’s far from perfect! I’ve been using my Garmin c320 since June. It’s similar to the i5 (you can do a comparison here: http://www.garmin.com/automotive/compare.jsp), but I digress.
Back in August, my teenage daughter and I took a little road trip to a Tom Petty concert in nearby Darien Lake, NY … about a six hour drive. We had a bona fide adventure, thanks to my c320! Here’s a peek:
Anyway, the highlight of the trip was when the unit was telling me to make a left turn directly onto the lawn in front of the Batavia, NY city hall … I kid you not. We managed to find our way to the concert, but, just so you know – in rural areas, where the maps are updated less often – you’ve got to be ready for a few surprises!
I also enjoy how the unit picks a route that often makes no sense, like, when I am driving to Northern NJ, how it tells me to get off the Garden State Parkway and take some obscure state highway … though it does eventually “recalculate” and get it’s digital you-know-what together.
On a very positive note, back in July at BLC ’06, I was driving down 128 and ran smack into a massive traffic jam. There was an exit ahead … I took a gamble and got off … and sure enough, my c320 navigated me expertly back to 128, just south of the delay. Pure magic!
Bottom line, I love my c320, it was well worth the $314 I paid for it (shipped) … but, when Abagail leaves you in the lurch … don’t say you weren’t warned! LOL!
Best to the family!
Chris Lehmann says
Just don’t count on it to help in Philly. Philly seems to be the place Mapquest and GPS forgot. 🙂
I use a Bluetooth GPS receiver with my Palm handheld and TomTom software. I’ve set the voice to a British female and named her Bridget. I’m about directionally challenged as they come, so without Bridget, I’m sure I’d be lost right now…
David Warlick says
GPS is truly the most addictive technology I’ve used in years. It isn’t foolproof. Detroit is also a pretty dangerous place to rely on it, else you’ll find your self on the bridge to Canada.
But your right that it does so much more than give you directions.
— dave —
GPS Nav says
From a safety point of view also, hopfully it will reduce the number of auto accidents, as people won’t be shuffling around maps while trying to drive!