Mio introduces Camera-GPS at Computex Show (updated)



Mio Technology will introduce new products at the Computex trade show beginning in Taipei (Taiwan) tomorrow. The Taiwanese PND manufacturer will show off two GPS-enabled smartphones, a connected PND and a new product concept blending a Personal Navigation Device (PND) with a digital camera.

Called “PND camera” this product features a 3.5 inches touch screen, a GPS and a digital camera. Except the image shown here, little information has filtered so far about this new product. (Update: the camera is 8.2 megapixels).

With this device Mio is extending the NavPix concept, (a PND with a low resolution camera and geotagging feature) inherited from the Navman acquisition, into a fully-fledged digital camera.

Mio Leap K1
Mio Leap K1
Like any new hybrid device, there are many challenges ahead for Mio in launching this kind of product. The first one is the consumer interest. Consumers have both demonstrated strong interest for navigation and picture geo-tagging, but whether they want to perform both tasks with a unique product has still to be seen.

The second challenge is the perfect execution both at the hardware and software level. Battery life will be a challenge because a 3.5 inches color screen and a GPS will drastically reduce the autonomy of the camera. Even more important, Mio will have to demonstrate his know-how in offering a good digital camera with all the features mastered by the big brands in this arena.

The third concern is the distribution: retailers like well defined product categories. A product that could be in two departments of consumer electronics stores - digital cameras and satnav - is always a challenge for sales and marketing.

Mio Leap G50
Mio Leap G50
Mio Leap G50
Mio Leap G50
Nevertheless, camera manufacturers have so far shown little interest in launching geotagging features in consumer cameras. With very little competition, Mio could make some inroads in a digital camera market that ships over 100 million devices each year (read here our story about the GPS-camera market).

Besides this camera, Mio will also show it new dual-sided GPS phone - Leap K1 (unveiled at CES last January), a new GPS PDA phone, Leap G50 and its connected PND, Moov 380 (also shown at CES). These three products were awarded COMPUTEX TAIPEI design & innovation award 2008.

Monday, June 2nd 2008


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