On the eve of CES 2008, Sony Electronics added two new portable navigation systems to its lineup: the Sony NV-U73T and the Sony NV-U83T. Both models focus on safety and have text-to-speech technology, nearly 5 million points of interest with branded icons, and preloaded maps of the United States and Canada. They're equipped with SiRF StarIII GPS chips, but the units also have a feature called Position Plus that includes pressure, gyro, and acceleration sensors, which should provide for more accurate positioning even when driving through tunnels and in between tall buildings. In addition, you can perform certain functions with just the swipe of your finger. For example, you can use your fingertip to draw an inverted V on the touch screen, and this will trigger the system to take you home. Finally, there's a dual-view mode that will show a 3D rendition of complicated intersections (similar to the the
As the flagship model, the Sony NV-U83T also has integrated Bluetooth for hands-free calling and a 4.8-inch, 16:9 ratio touch screen, while the NV-U73T has a 4.3-inch screen. Both the NV-U83T and NV-U73T are available for preorder today from Sony Style's Web site with an expected ship date of February. The units will cost $500 and $350, respectively.