Rugged Trimble Windows Mobile handheld gets an EV-DO modem

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TrimblenomadevdoTrimble’s rugged Nomad handheld is joining the wireless broadband party with the addition of a $349 EV-DO modem accessory. This complements the Nomad’s built-in WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth connections and allows you to send your GPS coordinates from the field. The USB modem is made by Franklin Wireless, similar to what they offer for PCs (looks almost like the CDU-680 to me), and is then covered with a protective cap. The modem comes with compatible drivers but you’ll have to add a wireless Sprint plan for service.Clearly, the Nomad is geared towards non-consumer use, but you have to admit the specs are appealing: Windows Mobile 6, an 806 MHz processor, outdoor viewable VGA touchscreen and up to a Gigabyte of storage. Tack on 3G with the new accessory and you’ve got a portable powerhouse!

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Alan A. Reiter

The “big picture” here is 2008 is The Year of Mobile + GPS. Firstly, we’re seeing companies that produce in-vehicle GPS devices incorporate wireless technologies, such as Wi-Fi and cellular, into their products. And one major GPS company, Garmin, is developing a GPS-centric cellular that will be launched later this year.

Secondly, we’re seeing an explosion in the development of cellular phones with GPS. As a result of these two industries converging, we will see many location-based services, both free and for sale from cellular companies, GPS vendors and independent software houses.

This is good news in general, but the increasing prevalence of location capabilities has its dark site, too. I wrote about the good and bad of mobile GPS, if anyone cares:

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