No more getting lost

Germany is a country where one can get very lost in.

In fact, I’ve already managed to get lost by missing a turn on the daily commute home from work! The same can be said for most of Europe, although I must admit that my internal compass hasn’t failed me yet in small towns like Berlin or London.

Paris, on the other hand… ah, Paris! Any visitor who’s ever had the misfortune of steering a car through that city will appreciate the need for some sort of assistance — and a detailed street map is not it.

Now that I’ve got some sort of idea of how to solve the “sound problem” (watch this space for details), I decided to take the next step and invest in a decent navigation system. The company honoured with receiving some of my hard-earned € is Harman/Becker, and the product is the Becker Traffic Assist Highspeed 7934 (“assembled in China” and “designed by Becker in Germany”), shown here.

Becker Traffic Assist Highspeed 7934 GPS

The device is small and sleek, suitable for car, bicycle or pedestrian, and I’ve already allowed a nice, friendly lady with a prim British accent to guide me home — which she did without as much as batting an eyelid, missing a clock cycle or nagging from the back seat when I deviated off her suggested route.

It claims to feature material for some 37 European countries, knows the location of the nearest petrol station and MacDonald’s, and it complains when I exceed the posted speed limit. Map data is contained on a 1 Gigabyte SD card, of which it occupies around 850Mb of space. The rest could be filled with pictures and music since this thing can show and play JPG and MP3/WMA files, too (although that’s a feature I’m not likely to make use of myself). The SD card itself as well as its WinCE basis can be updated and accessed via a DVD-ROM and a USB port. The travel guide and map resolution is dynamic, depending on your driving speed, and can be indicated in 2D or 3D. Of course, your current and exact location (by way of longitude and latitude) are also available, meaning that the Degree Confluence Project is getting more and more interesting.

This magodie even has a “mood light” — which is really just two luminous bars on its sides, emanating the choice of a deep red or cool blue light. The fact that they happen to match the Bora’s instrument illumination scheme is a pleasant coincidence… and frankly, the amount of technology packed into such a small device is nothing short of amazing!

I still need to teach that friendly British lady how to do the dishes, though.

Photo credits: manufacturer/retailer

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