Navman began in a garage in Auckland as Talon Technology. It soon went on to become an original design manufacturer, adding chart plotters and fish-finders to its existing range of marine instruments such as wind and depth gauges. It was only in the nineties that the company came to be known as Navman, the name taken from the world's first chart plotters. This was also the time when the company decided to focus on GPS and expanded its portfolio to launch the first portable in-car navigation device in 1997. The company expanded further in 2001 by acquiring the Rockwell/Conexant GPS module business. This unit became Navman’s commercial GPS solutions arm, and focused on off-the-shelf GPS solutions, private label products, as well as custom solutions.
The company moved quickly in the GPS field and came up with several innovative products. The first was the PDA-based in-car navigation device that was launched in 1997. It soon went on to produce the first mass marketed portable in-car navigation device, the iCN 630, in 2003. That's not all. It also developed the world's first integrated GPRS and GPS receivers that enabled businesses to manage their fleet more efficiently than before.
Simultaneously, the company expanded its presence, and set up units in New Zealand, US , UK, Chile, Denmark, Spain and South East Asia. Today Navman products are available across the globe.
Some of the more well known Navman products are:
1. iCN 520: This is a pocket sized, fully mobile, in-car GPS Navigation System that has a pre-powered rechargeable battery.
2. iCN 550: This incorporates the Navman SmartST 2005 software and comes preloaded with maps of US, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Guam.
3. PiN 570: A personal interactive navigation system it comes with maps of US and Canada. It also has an integrated GPS receiver and full Microsoft Pocket PC functionality and performance.
At the heart of Navman products is the GPS receiver. It is the job of this receiver to locate three of the 27 satellites that are used for navigation. Normally, a GPS receiver takes 5 to 15 minutes to track the satellites. It then fixes the user’s position within accuracy of 5 meters or 15 feet.
The receiver can then plot your route, and guide you to your destination. The Navman computer, depending on the model, stores 2 to 5 million points of interest like gas stations, restaurants etc. You are therefore always aware of your next gas station, school or restaurant.