Garmin introduces the new nüvi 860, the first portable navigation device with full menu speech recognition and an impressive array of other features ranging from safety camera alerts and emergency location assistance to hands free calling and photo navigation with Google Panoramio.
Clive Taylor, Garmin’s Director of Product said, “Garmin’s nüvi 860 uses full menu speech control to make driving safer and easier. It’s now possible to keep both hands on the wheel and tell the nüvi 860 what to do and where to go. Simple shortcut phrases like ‘go home’ will automatically take you straight to the map screen and route you to your home in a matter of seconds.”
Adding, “With the speech control and a Bluetooth link to your phone the nüvi 860 makes calling even safer as it allows you to interact with your phone totally hands free.”
The nüvi 860′s speech recognition technology sets the new industry standard for speech recognition. Users mount a push-to-talk wireless remote to their steering wheel, which is used to activate voice commands – no additional setup or “training” is required. Once activated, the user can manipulate controls by speaking the words that correspond to buttons that are on the touch screen display, so that almost any common task can be performed without ever touching the unit.
Garmin has also streamlined the way users can perform complex points of interest searches. When driving in an unfamiliar area and hungry for some spaghetti, simply say, “find nearest Italian restaurant,” and you’re offered a menu of nearby Italian restaurants. Use a voice command to select the establishment of your choice, and the nüvi 860 gives you turn-by-turn directions to your chosen location. And if you are running low on fuel you can ask for the nearest petrol station and again you will be given a choice of the nearest fuel stations.
For the ultimate in safety, a driver at any time speak the phrase, “where am I?” and their device will display its exact latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations, fuel and contact details of the breakdown recovery services. Speech recognition can also be used to search for addresses as well – all hands-free, from start to finish. Speech recognition is available for English, French, Spanish, German, Italian and Dutch languages.
The nüvi 860′s traffic receiver can display up to the minute traffic information to help with journey times and traffic avoidance and a new custom application allows a user to select areas and individual sections of roads to avoid, even to the point of storing avoidance routes such school runs during term times and temporary roadworks on minor roads. Along with the traffic avoidance, the nüvi 860 includes Cyclops safety camera alerts covering mobile and fixed camera locations with on a 30 day trial period.
The nüvi 860 has Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free calling when paired with compatible phones. Using the unit’s speech recognition capabilities, users can find and dial phone numbers (specifically supported phones can even access their history log of received, missed and dialled calls) or nüvi’s points of interest database (hotels, restaurants, department stores and more). This new premium PND also has a built-in FM transmitter, allowing users to wirelessly transmit turn-by-turn directions and street names, MP3s and audio books through their vehicle’s stereo. The nüvi 860 also features front-firing stereo speakers and a removable lithium-ion battery.
To help drivers find their car in an unfamiliar spot or crowded parking lot, the unit automatically marks where it was last removed from the windshield mount. Users can save 10 routes, specify via points and preview simulated turns, and the unit automatically sorts multiple destinations to provide an efficient route for errands, deliveries or sales calls. It also displays speed limits for motorways and autobahns, and a trip log provides an electronic bread crumb trail of up to 10,000 points, which can be downloaded and viewed on Google Earth.
The nüvi 860 also includes many entertainment and travel tools including a music player (MP3) with free 40 downloadable tracks from emusic.com, audio book player (subscription to Audible.com required), alarm clock, picture viewer, currency converters and more. The nüvi 860 even has games pre-loaded to pass the time while waiting around in airports or just relaxing. The units also are installed with Garmin Lock, an innovative patent pending theft prevention system that disables the unit from performing any functions until the user types in a specific 4-digit PIN or takes the unit to a predetermined secure location.