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Garmin nuvi 860 with full Menu Speech Recognition

Jul 6 2008, 12:03pm CDT | by , in News | Portable Devices

Garmin nuvi 860 with full Menu Speech Recognition
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Garmin unveiled the new nüvi 860, the first portable navigation device with full menu speech recognition.

Other feature highlights of the Garmin nuvi 860 include safety camera alerts, emergency location assistance, 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."
In keeping with Garmin's heritage of simple to use interface design, 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 effortlessly 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. 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 can 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 as 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 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 boasts front-firing stereo speakers and a removable lithium-ion battery.

Boasting a bright, sunlight-readable 4.3-inch colour touch screen display (480x272 pixels), the nüvi 860 is loaded with European maps. The new unit incorporates a high-sensitivity internal GPS antenna that makes it thinner and easier to mount in a car. At start-up (Garmin's new "instant on" feature makes the unit quicker to use), Garmin's intuitive "Where To?" and "View Map" welcome screen appears, allowing for quick searches of addresses for millions of points of interest like restaurants, hotels, attractions, petrol stations, and more. Turn-by-turn, text to speech voice-prompted directions guide drivers to their destination, announcing streets by name along the way. If they miss a turn, the nüvi automatically recalculates a route and gets them back on track.

The new Garmin nuvi 860 has a retail price of £449.99 and is on sale on Amazon.co.uk.

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