Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- 15 Questions to Ask After You Finish a Technical Document Project - February 12, 2018
- THY’s Perfect Information Design - February 9, 2018
- Waterfall vs. Agile Models in Technical Documentation - February 7, 2018
© 2010 Ugur Akinci
The day when every new car and truck would carry a GPS (Global Positioning System) device as standard equipment is not that far away.
The market for GPS devices is expanding by leaps and bounds. In the second quarter of 2006, for example, 2.4 million GPS devices were sold in the United States alone. That number is expected to surpass 7 million in 2010.
This great market created a demand for writers who can write GPS device reviews and compare the different brands. Here are some of the points you may want to address when writing such a consumer review:
Screen Size – How large is the device’s viewing area? Most models range between 3.5 inches diagonally (Garmin nuvi 1200) and 7 inches (Magellan).
Preloaded Maps – What kind of preloaded maps does the unit come with? Most GPS units (sold in USA) come with the entire map of the United States plus Puerto Rico burned into their firmware. Some include Canada too but some don’t.
WAAS – Does the unit work with WAAS technology (Wide Area Augmentation System)? WAAS is a U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the Department of Transportation standard that yields very accurate and superior navigation. Not all GPS devices incorporate such cutting-edge technology.
Text-to-Speech – Can the unit translate navigation directions into audible speech and direct the driver? Almost all brands these days support Text-to-Speech.
Real-Time Traffic Updates – Does the device download real-time traffic reports and make the necessary route adjustments on-the-fly? Some models offer such traffic link as an option.
AC or DC Adapter – All GPS units come with a DC adapter but there are very few models that also provide an AC adapter. You can mention that as a product differentiator if your unit comes with one.
Bluetooth – There are GPS devices that communicate wirelessly with other gadgets, phones and laptops in the vicinity through Bluetooth technology. But not all of them do.
MP3 Player – Some units can play MP3 files for some music on the go. Some of them can pipe the music through your vehicle’s stereo system by taking advantage of the Bluetooth technology.