Garmin Releases at CES
Garmin didn’t drop an armful of products at this year’s CES show, but there are lots of upcoming events this Winter and Spring when we will likely see more new product introductions. But they did have some cool new features, we’ll outline them below. If you have any specific questions about these products, fire them away in the next few hours and I’ll see if I can answer any of them.
Garmin Approach G3
The Original Garmin G5 golf GPS was based on the Oregon handheld platform and now we see a smaller sibling based on the Dakota platform. This makes a lot of sense to me as golf bags tend to not be super large unless you are lucky enough to have your own caddy. With space tight and less of a need for a big screen, the new Garmin Approach G3 makes a lot of sense to me. Then again, my idea of golf often involves me saying “I don’t like this hole– let’s skip it”. The device can get up to 15 hours of battery life which is probably just long enough time to me to find my ball and finish one of the 12,000 included courses. The new Approach G3 should be available around Feb 1, long before the snow melts from the greens in my neck of the woods.
Garmin ecoRoute HD
Our forum members have extensively discussed Garmin ecoRoute with mixed reviews. This new extension (literally) links the OBD II port in your car with the Nuvi via the ecoRoute cable. This allows your Nuvi to get details about your car such as including speed, acceleration, braking, temperature, RPM, emissions, etc. That information is then analyzed and you can see just how efficient of a driver you are, how many pounds of carbon you pumped into our atmosphere, and how well your car is performing. Certainly not the type of information every Nuvi owner is going to want– especially with a $150 pricetag, but car geeks might just drool at the thought of getting this data directly on their Nuvi.
Garmin Voice Studio
Sick of the same old voices on your Garmin? You can have your spouse or kids yack at you in the car even while you are driving alone. This new free app allows you to build your own voices for Garmin devices. These will not be text-to-speech voices so you won’t get spoken street names, but the typical voice prompts will have the even more familiar sounds of your family and friends. Frankly, since this feature has been around on some TomTom devices for awhile I’ve already developed an opinion of it. Go see the same comedian three nights in a row and you will get sick of the same material over and over again. But is certainly fun the first time around.
Garmin Zumo 665
Finally, the Zumo 665 makes an appearance for the bike crowd. Essentially a waterproof Nuvi with motorcycle specific features, the new Zumo adds XM satellite weather. But perhaps we shouldn’t think of this as something exclusively for our two-wheeled adventures. I find myself driving around in a lot of snowstorms in rural areas and the weather data could sure come in handy to predict any weather delays. So stop putting your old Nuvi in a Ziplock bag on your bike… it is bound to get water inside someday. Go get yourself this new Zumo instead.