Garmin just announced the Garmin nuvi 800 series, the first nuvis to feature speech recognition.
In keeping with Garmin’s heritage of elegant user interface design, the nuvi 800 series’ speech recognition technology sets the new industry standard for simple and intuitive use. Users mount a push-to-talk wireless remote to their steering wheel, which is used to activate voice commands — no additional setup or “training” is required. Once activated, the user can effortlessly manipulate controls by speaking the words that correspond to buttons that are on the touchscreen display, so that almost any common task can be performed without ever touching the unit.
Garmin has also streamlined the way users can perform complex points of interest searches. Driving in an unfamiliar area and hungry for some spaghetti? Simply say, “find nearest Italian restaurant,” and you’re offered a menu of nearby pasta purveyors. Use a voice command to select the establishment of your choice, and the nuvi 800 series gives you turn-by-turn directions to dinner. The nuvi 880 also knows the names of many large business brands, so a user need only say, “find nearest Starbucks” for a quick caffeine fix.
The nuvi 880 will include MSN Direct access, including some new features:
- Local events: receive special notices on festivals, concerts, and sporting events in your area, and navigate to them.
- News and stocks: the latest news headlines and financial market updates are always at your fingertips.
- Send to GPS capability: plan trips and look up destinations from the convenience of your computer, via Windows Live Local, and then wirelessly send locations to your nuvi 880.
The nuvi 850 will include all of the 880’s features, minus Bluetooth and MSN Direct access. The 800 series will be available in the second quarter of 2008.
No word on price yet. I’ll update this post with that once it is available. Here’s the text of the full news release.