GPSReview.net reported last night that a new Magellan GPS series, the Magellan Maestro, is about to hit the market. There’s nothing on Magellan’s website yet, but I did find out that TigerGPS.com already has the Maestro series on their site. They are showing an availability date of early April 2007 for two of the units, and mid-May for the top of the line model..
This is the first thin series (0.8") that’s been put out by Magellan. The Maestro units will include a new user interface and improved graphics. What’s really exciting though, is that the top of the line model, the Magellan Maestro 4050, will include voice recognition capabilities (something that showed up on my 2007 GPS wish list). Let’s take a look at the differences in the three units:
Stepping up to the 4040 adds Bluetooth compatibility, spoken street names, 4.5 million POIs, and NAVTEQ maps of the entire U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. An upgrade for live traffic information is also possible with the 4040.
Magellan Maestro 4050
In addition to the features above, the flagship model, the 4050, includes integrated live traffic and voice recognition. Here’s what the Maestro 4050 page at TigerGPS has to say about that last feature…
"The Maestro 4050 is the first portable GPS system to offer voice recognition technology, allowing you to speak simple commands to the unit…The Maestro 4050 utilizes the latest generation of Voice Control to enable you to route to your destination using voice commands, and without touching the GPS unit."
It will be interesting to see how well their voice recognition features work, and how limited those "simple" commands are. I doubt that you will be able say the name of a POI and have it find it. Maybe you can call up a category list though. And as far as how well it works, your car may make a big difference. A super-quiet Lexus may allow for better speech recognition performance than a road noise saturated Toyota Corolla.