By Craig Zammit

SYDNEY: Navman Australia has announced it will be releasing four new in-car GPS navigation devices in July 2006 with new features, including a built-in 4GB hard drive and a world-first built-in digital camera.

“Sales of satellite navigation systems soared last Christmas, as more affordable devices came to the market,” said Navman consumer navigation group Australasian sales manager, David King.

The new iCN720 (RRP $1,399) features a unique world-first technology called NavPix, which allows users to remember places by sight as opposed to learning an address.

The Navman iCN720 features a built-in digital camera which allows users to photograph any area of interest and then have Navman automatically geo-reference the location for later navigation.

“Images are an obvious and unmistakable way to identify a destination and we are proud to be launching a world-first technology with NavPix. We strongly believe that it will become the de-facto standard for navigation in the future,” said King.

“You can use the built-in camera on the iCN720 to take a NavPix image of something that inspires or interests you, it might be a location you’ve stumbled upon by chance and want to return to. It could be a great restaurant, a scenic view or an amazing building – or maybe something relevant to your professional life, such as a location for a photo shoot, a property for sale or a scene you need to record.”

King uses the example of the Sydney Opera House, which almost everyone can recognise, but which very few people actually know the address of.

Users also have the ability to upload their own personal online database of location images on and then share them with the Navman global community. The website can also be used to download pre-determined landmarks for easier navigation.

Also new to the Navman range is the iCN550 (RRP $1,399) which features a built-in 4GB hard drive containing pre-loaded street-level maps of Australia , UK, North America and 16 European countries.

Also featured on the iCN550 are two dedicated buttons for fuel and parking respectively. With users regularly needing to find fuel and parking locations in a hurry, the single-push button allows quick navigation to the nearest parking lot or petrol station.

“Navman has filled the gap in the market for affordable satellite navigation. With its new features, such as 3D moving maps and next turn progress bar, the iCN330 is a strong addition to the Navman family.”

The iCN330 (RRP $699) is Navman’s entry-level option and features Back-on-Track software to minimise the user’s risk of getting lost and includes a 2.83-inch TFT LCD colour screen.

The iCN530 (RRP $999), which will also be released in July 2006, replaces the popular iCN520 model, and features second generation GPS technology – SiRF Star III, which provides clearer reception and lower power consumption, as well as offering a non-reflective 3.5-inch QVGA LCD touch-screen.

Both the iCN720 and iCN550 also feature second generation satellite technology.