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Mobile Accessories

Belkin CoPilot Live

This satellite navigation system connects to your PDA to help you find your way around the city without a street directory or even taking your eyes off the road.

Upside
A Bluetooth GPS Navigation System for PDAs, CoPilot Live includes a USB GPS receiver that receives free to air signals from satellites which are then sent to your PDA. The raw information is correlated to the mapping data stored on your PDA to give you an accurate map of where you are. The portable trip planner then provides drivers relevant travel information using detailed voice commands. With software developed by TravRoute, it contains Australia-wide digital map material and Yellow Pages content from Sensis.

You'll need to set up your PDA for CoPilot Live by inserting the included SD memory card to load the software. It is immediately ready to receive information about your travel destinations and plan your route. The GPS receiver sits on the car dashboard and downloads free-to-air detailed information from European and US satellites wirelessly via Bluetooth and displays it in a street-level format on the PDA.

Its 'Live' feature provides detailed street directions through route guidance software. Directions are provided in spoken and visual turn-by-turn instructions to practically any Australian address allowing you to maintain full concentration on the road. It will recalculate an updated route in seconds if you go going off course or are stuck in traffic.

You can download and access the travel information that is most relevant for you. It includes speed camera information for 37 speed cameras in NSW and points of interest from the Yellow Pages. You can personalise the information to include your own points of interest such as petrol stations, frequently visited businesses, friends ' houses, favourite restaurants, cinemas and other speed cameras that you are aware of.

Downside
Yes, it will get you where you want to go, but is it the shortest route or quickest? How do you squabble with a PDA?

And no more sneaking off to the track. Using GPRS, Internet users can track your GPS equipped vehicle in real time and send text-to-voice messages. "When are you coming home? Don't forget to pick up some milk!" OK, we concede there may be some advantages to this feature.

Outlook
With no more arguments about how to read the UBD, divorce rates may drop dramatically. It's about 40 times more expensive than buying the latest street directory, but the price does include access to free-to-air GPS satellite information. CoPilot Live is also available in a laptop edition.

Those going on overseas road trips can also buy Belkin TravRoute GPS maps for the USA and Europe (both retail for AU$699).

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