From Colorado to Oregon, Garmin never sleeps
I’ve been meaning to post this photo, bigger here, for a while, as indicated by the snow in the background! It shows how the Garmin Colorado 400c screen—despite the somewhat anemic back-lighting I once bitched about—looks quite good in direct sunlight. I was also going to write a bit more about the big “Rock ‘N’ Roller thumb wheel/cursor thingy” that’s both quite an interesting technology (the control signals are transmitted magnetically through a waterproof shield), and the doorway to an interface I’ve come to like quite a lot. But, dang, Garmin has just announced yet another marine handheld, the similarly powerful Oregon 400c.
In fact Oregon is obviously the same basic hardware platform, including a compass, altimeter, and thermometer. The screen is also the same 240 x 300 pixel, 3” diagonal. But it’s touchscreen, no Rock’n’Roller and hence an overall smaller unit. Of course that means a much different interface, one I’d like to check out. Bye, bye Colorado; hello Oregon. Will there ever be a Garmin Maine? The more important question is what happens to all the AIO PNDs when the faster, cheaper, GPS-onboard Apple iPhone 3G debuts tomorrow. Along with a slew of navigation apps, including one from GPSNavX (according to the comments to yesterday’s entry. There are some who think the iPhone will put a hurt on Garmin, but the latter is certainly not sitting on its laurels. Don’t forget the wild-card Nuvifone, and I sure wouldn’t be surprised to see Garmin make more big moves here in our marine electronics world. Two predictions—completely my own, no inside info: Garmin will buy a VHF company and Garminize its line, and they’ll update the 4– and 5000 series MFDs, or develop a new series, that puts full chart data in 3D (like you-know-who, the pioneers currently taking all the arrows).