The next new thing
Published: Tuesday, January 14, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 13, 2003 at 10:20 p.m.
Garmin International has unveiled a next-generation handheld that allows you to chart a course to anyone in your computerized address book. The device even provides vocal turn-by-turn directions to the destination.
The iQue is the first handheld computer to incorporate global positioning system technology with the Palm operating system.
Garmin believes the pocket-size computer will be a hit with salespeople and others who spend a lot of time on the road. Salespeople, for instance, can download corporate contact lists into the iQue's Palm address book. The iQue, in turn, will direct them from appointment to appointment.
Cool for consumers
At last week's Consumer Electronics Show, Panasonic previewed the SV-AV30, a palm-sized video playback device that comes built with a Smart Card flash memory slot so users can store video from other devices - such as Smart Card camcorders, recorders and TVs - and view it on the 9-inch screen. Starting at $300, that device will be in stores in April.
An emergency alert system dubbed Alert Guard will soon be built into RCA televisions. The TVs will have a built-in receiver that allows them to receive alerts from the Emergency Broadcasting System and other disaster alert services.
Viewers will be able to customize the alert system to receive alerts for their own counties. The system can include alerts for natural disasters, weather warnings, or missing children alerts.
GM says it plans to boost the fuel economy of its most popular cars and trucks by as much as 50 percent, beginning with two pickup trucks in the 2003 model year.
Overall gains in fuel economy will range from 15 percent to 50 percent, with the biggest increases going to the 2005 version of the compact Saturn VUE sport utility vehicle.
GM will rely on hybrid gas-electric technology, and possibly hybrid diesel-electric engines, to dramatically crank more miles per gallon out of its mid-size sedans, such as the Chevrolet Malibu, and its full-size SUVs, such as the GMC Yukon.
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