Established in 1986 as New Zealand-based Talon Technology, Navman (as the company became known in the 1990s) is a GPS systems company providing stand-alone GPS units, OEM GPS modules, GPS software for Palm handhelds and Pocket PCs, automotive navigation systems and navigation systems for use at sea.
Acquired by Brunswick Corporation in June 2004, the Navman PND (Portable Navigation Device) division was subsequently sold to MiTAC in the first half of 2007 and this business retains principal use of the Navman brand, including the navman.com website. Software development continues in New Zealand with sales, marketing and support primarily based in Horley, UK.
The Navman Marine division designs and manufactures fish finders, sonar, VHF radios, autopilots and sailing instruments and was sold by Brunswick to the Norwegian company Navico in April 2007.
The remaining Navman divisions are Navman Wireless Vehicle Tracking Solutions and Navman Wireless OEM.
In-Car Navigation Units
Navman S90iLaunched in September 2007, Navman's current sat nav range is the S-Series, consisting of S30, S50, S70 and S90i models. Completely redesigned from previous GPS personal/in-car navigation devices, the S-Series are marketed as containing over 500 enhancements to both hardware and software. The flagship S90i model offers a comprehensive set of features such as Bluetooth handsfree, built-in traffic alerts (TMC), pre-loaded safety camera data, text-to-speech (TTS), NavPix camera and 4.3" widescreen display.
Previous products have included:
January 2007: F-Series. The F30, F40 and F50 models were added. Based on the existing F20 unit, these new models were bundled with a variety of external modules to add new features out of the box. The F30 included a T1 traffic module to offer traffic (TMC) alerts. The F40 included a B2 module to offer Bluetooth handsfree calling. The F50 included a B2+ module offering both traffic (TMC) and Bluetooth.
2006: N-Series. Replacing the previous iCN 500 and iCN 700 series, the N40i and N60i are fully touch screen with nearest fuel and parking buttons and NavPix. The N60i was the top-range unit and has a wide, 4.3” screen. N-Series also had a third member, N20 -- intended as a replacement to 530 it suffered as the F20 cannibalised it's sales.
2006: F20. Replacing the iCN 300 series, the F20 is small, fully touch screen and includes the nearest petrol and parking buttons. The F20 was essentially Navman's volume product, selling in great quantities, especially during the Christmas 2006 period.
GPS receiver module made by Navman's OEM division.In 2005, Navman replaced the 600 series with the 700 Series, consisting of the iCN 720 and iCN 750. The only difference between the two models was map storage -- 720 relied on memory cards while 750 had a 4 Gb built-in microdrive. It had a wide screen, was fully touch screen with no stylus, and included the nearest petrol and parking buttons. It was the first Navman unit with NavPix. Upon introduction of the 700 series, support was dropped for the 600 series essentially rendering the 600 series obsolete as there would be no additional map updates or product support available.
The original top-range units were those of the 600 Series. These are larger than the 300 and 500 units, offering louder sound and a wider, automotive grade screen. They are not touch screen, but are known for being strong and easy to see. The 600 units are the 610, 620, 630, 635 and 650. The 650 came with a built-in 2GB microdrive and was also OEMed for Delphi and Sony.
The 500 Series was originally the middle of Navman’s range. It includes the iCN 510, 520, 530 and 550. They are touch-screen, and are usually operated with a stylus. The 550 introduced Navman’s unique nearest petrol and parking buttons, worldwide maps and real-time traffic updates. 530 was the last in the 500 Series introducing hardware styling later found on N-Series.
The 300 Series is Navman’s original range of basic, in-car satellite navigation units. It includes the iCN (in-car navigator) 320 and 330. The 320 introduced 2D moving maps, while the 330 had 3D moving maps.
Navman has also made a number of Pocket PCs in the past, known as the PiN Series, running from the PiN 510 to 570. They were not popular, however, and have long since been discontinued.
Navman introduced "NavPix" on its iCN 700 portable navigation devices in 2006. The NavPix technology combines a digital image with geographical data to create the NavPix image, which is a record of the exact location where that image was taken. The iCN 720 and iCN 750 were the first Navman GPS products that were NavPix-enabled, using a 1.3 MegaPixel camera to take the NavPix.
NavPix was developed to offer users an alternative way to navigate, by selecting an image rather than entering an address or post code.
The N Series - N for NavPix - products launched in September 2006, introduced two more NavPix-enabled products - the N40i and wide-screen N60i, both of which had an integrated digital camera to take the NavPix. The N20 model can use NavPix images, but not take them.
The NavPix image contains the latitude and longitude information within the Exchangeable image file format meta data. These images can be selected on the compatible Navman as an alternative way to define a destination or way-point when planning a route.
The latest Navman sat nav, the S90i offers a 2.0 MegaPixel camera for taking NavPix. Other S-Series models, the S50 and S70, are NavPix compatible meaning NavPix images can be loaded onto the device for use.
NavPix images may be freely accessed from the Navman NavPix Library as well as other sites such as Flickr.