9/20/2004 - Fastrax Ltd., a provider of OEM GPS receivers and positioning software with an industry-leading feature set, and Parrot S.A., a provider of innovative automotive telecommunications solutions, announced the integration of the Fastrax iTrax02 GPS receiver into Parrot’s CK3300 Bluetooth® handsfree car kit.
The Parrot CK3300 is the first Bluetooth® car kit to provide GPS functions that allow the use of PDA or smartphone navigation software while using the phone hands free. The CK3300 is compatible with all existing navigation systems and Bluetooth® telephones.
The CK3300 car kit enables the driver to wirelessly access standard GPS messages to display navigation information on the screen of a Bluetooth®-enabled smartphone or PDA running navigation software. With the Parrot CK3300, drivers no longer need to connect their personal device to an external GPS receiver or to invest in expensive on-board navigation equipment. The only additional hardware required is a dashboard mount for the PDA or smartphone.
The navigation functionality of the CK3300 is powered by the Fastrax iTrax02 OEM GPS receiver. The iTrax02 is one of the most advanced 12-channel GPS receivers on the market. The receiver enables continuous tracking down to very low signal levels, with support for assisted GPS (A-GPS). Designed for demanding conditions, Fastrax GPS technology offers industry-leading performance and reliability along with fast time to first fix (TTFF).
“The convergence of GPS and Bluetooth® opens up a range of exciting possibilities for in-car communications,” said Mr. Matti Räty, President and CEO, Fastrax. “The combination of Fastrax’s cutting-edge GPS solutions with Parrot’s proven and reliable automotive solutions offers a new, more affordable way for drivers to enjoy the benefits of GPS navigation without the need for a separate, costly navigation product.”
Fastrax GPS technology is also used in Parrot’s CK3500 Professional Car Kit, which will be available at the end of 2004. The CK3500 features both GSM Dual Band and GPS modules and adds to the CK3300’s hands-free and navigation functions a range of off-board, server-based business applications for fleet management, traffic optimization, vehicle tracking and other services.
The Parrot CK3500 uses the Bluetooth® SIM Access Profile protocol, which allows the vehicle's on-board electronics to access the phone's identification and communications functions wirelessly. Drivers can then benefit from an external antenna without having to physically connect their mobile phone. Using the driver’s optional SIM card, the vehicle can exchange data with a server over a cellular network.
“The CK3300 GPS and CK3500 Professional Car Kits are among the first of a new kind of hands-free systems capitalizing on our OEM experiences with Bluetooth® and the car,” said Henri Seydoux, CEO, Parrot S.A. “Thanks to Fastrax technology, we can deliver to our customers a set of benefits people expect from today's personal devices but which are not usually available within a vehicle."
Fastrax’s GPS modules are ideally suited for both asset tracking systems and small battery-operated products such as mobile phones, handheld computers and sports accessories. In addition to OEM GPS receivers, Fastrax offers Engineering Services to enable faster time to market for specific custom applications. This includes customized designs for both hardware and software needs.
More information on Fastrax distributors is available at http://www.fastrax.fi
About Fastrax Ltd
Fastrax provides industry-leading receivers and software solutions for optimal utilization of GPS (Global Positioning System) and other GNSS location services (Global Navigation Satellite Systems). Fastrax transforms GPS technologies into highly scalable iTrax and iSuite solutions with open interfaces, combined to ultra low power consumption and miniature hardware design.
With industry-leading performance, Fastrax GPS receivers navigate continuously even in extreme conditions. Receivers are ideally suited to both industrial location applications and high-volume consumer products such as cell phones and sports accessories. Fastrax Engineering Services provide expert services in application design.
Headquartered in Finland and founded in 1999, the company is privately owned and backed by leading venture capital investors CapMan, Eqvitec, Startupfactory and Innocap, with a strategic investment by Suunto Corporation, a subsidiary of Amer Group, a leading global supplier of sporting goods equipment. More information: www.fastrax.fi.
Founded in 1994 by its present Chairman and CEO, Henri Seydoux, and located in Paris, Parrot S.A. is a highly profitable, fast-growing company that provides proven and reliable technology for automotive telecommunications. >From the outset, Parrot focused on embedded noise-robust voice recognition and signal processing technologies for the mobile computing and automotive markets and added Bluetooth® to its core competence in 2002.
Parrot partners with a wide range of car manufacturers, automotive equipment manufacturers, telecom operators and mobile phone companies including Orange, Vodafone, KPN, AT&T Wireless, Peugeot, Citroën, Saab, Siemens-VDO, Visteo, The Phone House and Philips. Parrot products are sold in thirty-five countries worldwide through its distribution network. More information: www.parrot.fr - www.driveblue.com
Global Positioning System (GPS) is a worldwide satellite navigation infrastructure funded and controlled by the U.S. Department of Defense, originally developed for U.S. military purposes. GPS provides satellite signals that enable GPS receivers to calculate their exact position and velocity. The GPS infrastructure has three segments. The space segment consists of 24 satellites that orbit the earth every 12 hours. The control segment consists of tracking stations located around the world, with the master control station located at Falcon Air Force Base in Colorado. The user segment consists of GPS receivers and users utilizing the information provided by the system. GPS is widely used in applications such as marine navigation.
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