Talking Wearables and Location-Based Advertising with Skyhook Wireless (Podcast)

Worldwide Wi-Fi location vendor Skyhook Wireless recently announced a partnership with Narrative, the maker of the smallest wearable camera to enable geotagging of pictures on the newly launched Narrative 2 device.

This partnership is the first milestone of Skyhook’s expansion plan towards the wearable market.

David Bairstow, Vice President of Product at Skyhook was on the stage in London this week at the Wearable Technology Show to detail their new product offering in this area.

GPS Business News catch up with him at the event in the podcast below:

TomTom New Golf Watch Comes with Automatic Shot Detection

Exhibiting at the Wearable Technology Show today in London, TomTom presented a new version of its GPS-enabled Golf Watch.

TomTom Golfer 2 embeds acceleration and gyroscope sensors that allow for automatic shot detection.

With this new feature each shot is precisely geo-located on the green, helping golfers to improve their game with highly detailed post-game analysis.

TomTom Golfer 2 includes the following features:

– Green Distances – Precise yardages to front, centre and back of green.

– Hazards – See distances to individual hazards along the fairway.

– Lay-up- See remaining distances to lay-up points.

– Greenview — View unique green and hazard graphics before your shot.

– Round Tracking – Keep track of the score, distance, and time for your round.

– Daily Course Updates: Receive course updates wirelessly from your smartphone.

– Wireless Syncing: Sync your session wirelessly on TomTom MySports app.

– Weather and water resistant to 40M.

– Choice of large or small straps for the best fit for your wrist.

Costing 249 euros, the watch will be available in May 2016.

Unacast: Aggregating Offline Consumer Behavioral Data from Beacons (Podcast)

The mobile advertising industry is relying more and more on location data, however these are often inaccurate and unavailable indoor. This is where proximity data from beacons kicks in to offer consumer behavior down to a precise aisle, shelf or product.

But Beacon data has been difficult to scale for advertising due to the fragmentation of the beacon and proximity industries.

Based out of Norway with a sales office in New York City, Unacast goal is to solve this challenge by creating the largest network of proximity companies in the world, to collect beacon data in the Unacast PROX Network, which aggregates, standardizes and tags the data to build targeting profiles on millions of users.

On the supply side Unacast has partnered with more than 40 of the world’s largest proximity providers (representing 1 million installed beacons thus far) and on the demand side with leading mobile advertising platforms, such as Opera Mediaworks, a partnership recently announced.

Listen below to the podcast with Kjartan Slette, co-founder and COO of the company:

TomTom Telematics: 605,000 Units Live, 90% in Europe

In an interview last week in the Journal de l’Automobile, Stéphane Schriqui, Commercial Director for France is providing some insights about the telematics business of TomTom. Adding this with the recent financial results of the Dutch company, it offers a detailed picture of this telematics business.

European business

TomTom Telematics is essentially a European business with 90 percent of its fleet on the continent.

The forecast for 2016 is to add 180,000 vehicles tracked and finally to reach 1 million in the 2017-2018 timeframe.

Obviously external growth is part of TomTom Telematics DNA, the company is on the lookout to acquire additional small players (managing 50,000 vehicles on average) across Europe as it did in the last few years.


The EBIT margin of the telematics business was 29% in fiscal year 2015, slightly down from 31% in 2014. In 2015 the monthly subscription ARPU was €15.9 down 2 percent from €16.2 in 2014.

French market

With 60,000 vehicles the French market represents around 10 percent of the total TomTom’s Telematics business. The goal is to grow it with 18,000 additional devices in 2016.

To learn more, read (in French) the interview in the Journal de l’Automobile.

NNG Appoints New CEO, Former TomTom Exec Giles Shrimpton

Automotive navigation software and infotainment supplier NNG has appointed Giles Shrimpton as its CEO, effective March 1, 2016.

NNG was searching for a new CEO since July 2015 when Peter Balogh, co-founder of the company, left the job. In the meantime Péter Szombathelyi, long time COO, was managing the company as interim CEO.

Shrimpton, brings to NNG more than 30 experience in automotive infotainment. He started his career as a software engineer and has held senior positions at Philips, Siemens, Valeo, TomTom, and Mirror Controls.

He spent almost seven years at TomTom where he was recruited to start their Automotive Business Unit in May 2007, after TomTom acquired the Dutch navigation assets of Siemens VDO (read here).

This led him to join the TomTom executive board. He also set up TomTom China in 2012, located in Shanghai for a little more than a year.

Zubie & Castrol innoVentures Announce Auto Dealer Solution

Aftermarket connected car supplier Zubie has partnered with Castrol innoVentures to launch a joint telematics solution designed specifically for auto dealerships.

The new telematics solution integrates Zubie’s Autodealer Telematics Platform with Castrol innoVentures’ dealer-specific workflow application.

Zubie’s aftermarket cellular OBDII device and cloud services provides rich data for both car owners and dealerships. Car owners can receive real-time actionable information about their vehicles and drivers. Zubie’s mobile app gives instant access to reports, real-time car health alerts, preventive maintenance reminders, customizable one-click app service appointment scheduling, and more.

Through its integration with Castrol innoVentures’ dealer-specific workflow application, Zubie augments the data sent to customers by simultaneously providing customer-permissioned, specific, actionable service-oriented information about their vehicles to the dealership’s service advisors.

The new solution will initially deploy with Motorcars Cleveland, a dealer group with 4 locations in the Suburb of Cleveland. The dealership will deploy Zubie’s solutions for customer service retention and also for better efficiencies through installing Zubie in its loaner and rental cars to better track performance and maintenance.

Geneva Motor Show: TomTom Deals with PSA, Volkswagen, Toyota & FCA

Navigation vendor TomTom today at the Geneva Motor Show announced deals with leading car makers PSA, Toyota, Volkswagen and FCA.

Global PSA Deal

TomTom today announced the launch of PSA Peugeot Citroen’s new global infotainment platform, which is built on their navigation software, digital mas and traffic information service.

This new system will be first available on the new DS5 as “DS Connect Nav”, then on the Citroen Space Tourer and the Peugeot Traveller in the first quarter of 2016. Additional models from all three brands will be rolled out later in the year on a global scale: Europe, Latin America and Mexico, Africa, Middle-East, Asia (except Japan, South Korea and China), Australia and New Zealand.

Lifetime map updates will be included in the vehicle price while a bundle of 5 real-time services will be free for the first 3 years: Traffic, Local Search, Weather, Parking Fuel (the speedcam warning service will be available as a paid option).

“With this major partnership, involving all our products in so many regions, TomTom starts a new exciting journey with PSA Peugeot Citroen, one of the leading car manufacturers in the world.” Antoine Saucier, Managing Director TomTom Automotive.

This agreement, known to be in TomTom’s books for quite a long time, is now coming to the market.

Volkswagen Up! with Smartphone Solution

The new Volkswagen Up!, presented at the show, will feature TomTom navigation starting from June 2016. Drivers will access TomTom’s navigation via a smartphone App (built by a third-party developer) dedicated to the Volkswagen Up! experience. The user’s smartphone is then secured on the driver’s dashboard with a dock.

The App features TomTom’s navigation software “NavKit” combined with digital maps. Volkswagen will also provide optional paid map updates and TomTom’s traffic service.

Toyota Proace

Toyota Proace, a light commercial vehicle developed in partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroen, will receive a new infotainment system featuring a bundle of several TomTom products: Navigation, Traffic, Local Search, Speed Cam, Weather, parking, Fuel) which will be available for up to 10 years.

This announcement further deepens the existing partnership between the two companies, already extended for the new Toyota Touch 2 with Go with TomTom Traffic and Local Search services. Toyota has now increased the period for these services from 1 year to 3 years.


TomTom today also announced that the all new Fiat Tipo CinquePorte and Station Wagon, and the new Fiat 500S, presented in world premiere at the event, are available with a new version of TomTom’s connected navigation in the new Uconnect 7” HD Nav and Uconnect 7” HD Nav LIVE head units.

This new system combines TomTom navigation software with their digital maps, Speed Cams warnings, Local Search, Weather, and Traffic service.

These systems will be rolled out in Europe and other markets during this year.

IndoorAtlas Signs Up Yahoo Japan (Podcast with CEO)

Geomagnetic indoor positioning vendor IndoorAtlas announced this week an agreement with Yahoo! Japan to deliver indoor positioning services within venues across Japan.

Yahoo! Japan is the leading internet portal in Japan and generates 63 billion page views per month. IndoorAtlas’ technology has the potential to reach a significant percentage of the 38 million inhabitants in the greater Tokyo metropolitan area alone.

By utilizing the magnetic sensor within a smartphone, IndoorAtlas’ software is able to detect anomalies in the Earth’s magnetic field to accurately pinpoint and track a person’s location indoors.

Janne Haverinen, the CEO of the company based out of Finland spoke to GPS Business News at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

Listen to the podcast below:

INRIX Claims Better Parking Data Than Parkopedia But Study Non Conclusive

At the end of January, INRIX, who bought off-street parking data startup Parkme in September 2015, published a press release and set up an online webinar claiming that their parking data is better than their competitor Parkopedia.

To prove their point INRIX hired market research firm SBD to perform a ground truth assessment of parking information.

SBD looked at 488 random parking lots in November 2015 across Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart in Germany, as well as Boston and San Francisco in the United States. The research firm sent trained data collectors to evaluate on-site attributes lot by lot (backed by photographic evidence), then compared the field results to published information on respective ParkMe and Parkopedia websites.

Based on these findings the study concluded that “ParkMe was 12 percent more accurate than Parkopedia across a set of core attributes that are essential to automakers for customer satisfaction. Most important, ParkMe was 23 percent more accurate providing the precise entrance location to parking lots as compared to Parkopedia. ParkMe was the "clear winner" across parking attributes including pricing information accuracy (91 percent versus 81 percent) and correct parking lot operating hours (87 percent versus 83 percent).“

Studies limitations

While SBD is a well respected research firm we see several limitations in this study and the way their results are promoted by INRIX. First the study was commissioned by INRIX who decided which cities were to be analyzed. Who knows what could have been the outcome of the comparison in London, Paris or Chicago?

Comparing website data for an Automotive purpose?

But the most important part is what has been analyzed against ground truth: website data. The problem with it is that the database available from websites is different from what is delivered to automakers.

More than that, Parkopedia, like many other companies that license data in one hand and have a consumer facing website in the other, are voluntarily limiting and sometimes degrading the data freely available on their website to avoid piracy.

While we are not sure about who has the best data, what we might sure of is that a PR fight has been declared by INRIX.

For more details, see below the report from SBD:

Garmin to Acquire Delorme, Extends Into Satellite Tracking Devices

GPS maker Garmin today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire substantially all of the assets of DeLorme, a privately-held company that designs and markets consumer-based satellite tracking devices with two-way communication and navigational capabilities. Financial terms of the purchase agreement and acquisition will not be released.

One of the most compelling products in the DeLorme portfolio is its inReach series of two-way satellite communication devices. These GPS-enabled devices allow the user to send and receive satellite text messages or trigger an SOS for emergency help, anywhere in the world.

InReach is using the Iridium satellite network. Suggested retail price for the entry level inReach SE is $299 and the more advanced inReach Explorer is $379, with a choice of annual satellite subscriptions or no-contract Freedom Plans with only a minimum 30-day commitment. Freedom Plans start at $14.95 per month for the safety service and go up to $99.95 per month for the highest service level.

Delorme is also selling paper maps, as well as GIS software and digital base maps to enterprise customers.

Garmin said they will retain most of the associates of DeLorme and will continue operations at its existing location in Yarmouth, Maine.

“This Yarmouth facility will operate primarily as a research and development centre and will continue to develop two-way satellite communication devices and technologies,“ Garmin wrote.

This acquisition extends Garmin reach into a new device category where it already has a lot of customers and a powerful brand: hikers and boaters. While InReach is an interesting product it had so far limited visibility and no distribution outside of the United States. With Garmin marketing machine behind it will certainly open up new possibilities and further integration into new devices.