Moreover, the latest portable units are now coming with functions that make them deserving of a proper installation for the vehicle they will be used in the most. Most often, we think of navigation and music devices as being separate entities. But take the latest offering from Harman Kardon, the Guide + Play GPS-500 (MSRP $499.00). It provides both portable navigation and multimedia capability in one palm-sized unit. It features GPS navigation, high-fidelity audio and full-motion video playback. For some customers who travel frequently, it may be the best solution as all of their multimedia can be enjoyed on the plane ride, then the unit can be affixed to the rental car to provide navigation capabilities.
Chris Dragon, director of brand marketing for Harman Mobile Systems, notes, “It is not a mystery- there are many companies entering the portable navigation market. Harman has long been a top share holder in the in the navigation aftermarket for many years in Europe and also as the manufacturer of extremely robust navigation and infotainment systems for many premium car makers. Convergence of GPS and multimedia systems in a single device is of growing importance to consumers, but most combination GPS/multimedia systems on the market today lack many of the features—music-browsing control and capability, for one—found in a single device. In addition, ease of operation is an area where we focused; delivering a product that requires virtually no learning curve. The GPS-500 joins a family of current and forthcoming products that deliver a single user interface and display to control multiple tasks, technologies and tools.” Mike Giffin, Mobile Systems Division President states “Convergence of GPS and multimedia systems in a single device is of growing importance to consumers. The Guide + Play GPS-500 can be used while driving, working or relaxing.” Harman did a lot of R&D on creating the ball-and-socket joint for a traditional windshield install. However, how great would this unit be custom-fitted into the dashboard with a quick-release the installer can fabricate? The only things the installer would have to consider is if there is a clean line-of-sight for the GPS signal and giving the consumer an additional method of plugging the unit into 12 volt power.