Mapping hardware has a future - TomTom

2013-04-04 14:20
Daan Henderickx says that smartphones haven't replaced mapping hardware yet. (TomTom)

Daan Henderickx says that smartphones haven't replaced mapping hardware yet. (TomTom)

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Cape Town - Despite the growth in smartphones' ability to become all-you-want devices, dedicated location gadgets have a place with a significant number of users, a mapping firm has said.

According to TomTom country manager Daan Henderickx, smartphones can be costly to users when using them as navigation devices.

He chatted to News24 about location technology and how it will augment social networking.

News24: How does GPS hardware maintain relevance as smartphones grow to offer location services?
Daan Henderickx: Those who wish make use of a paid-for service like TomTom's own app are younger and a bit more technology orientated while GPS owners have a larger user profile and have a specific need for certain features like local search which requires a larger screen as well as HD Traffic which is optimised by a stronger battery life and roaming data.

In a smartphone this can be costly while for and car navigation device, like the TomTom LIVE 1005 device, there is a small fixed charge.

News24: Is there reason to suggest that personal data is at risk from hacking a TomTom device?
Henderickx: Now of course, if you are able to gain access to someone's TomTom device, e.g. because it was lost or stolen, it is possible to switch it on and from the menus infer where the device has been, e.g. by looking at the last destinations or the favourite locations the user may have entered and saved for later use.

But I would not consider to this to be "hacking". TomTom devices use GPS only to establish their location, contrary to smartphones and tablets.

News24: How soon before GPS technology is used to track children with off-the-shelf microscopic devices?
Henderickx: We do not do predictions on advances in technology, especially in this case. We currently have no plans to develop such devices targeted at children.

News24: Does TomTom support Glonass; is it as reliable as GPS?
Henderickx: We currently do not support Glonass and have no information regarding the reliability of Glonass.

News24: How far does TomTom’s liability extend in regards to outdated maps?
Henderickx: We clearly state to our users in manuals, on our website and via notifications and reminders on the device itself that roads change and maps naturally become outdated due to road works and name changes especially in South Africa.

Of course: we do offer quarterly full map upgrades for all our products and thanks to Map Share daily incremental map updates are available - the latter being free of charge.

News24: Do you think location-based apps are the "next big thing" after social networking?
Henderickx: We do believe that it will evolve in coming years however location based services are not something new. TomTom recently partnered with major companies on its location based services.

News24: What’s the coolest location on Earth as far as you as concerned?
Henderickx: Belgium… It is my home country and to me will always the coolest place to be with the best chips (French Fries).
Read more on:    tomtom  |  internet

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