GPS Devices Buying Guide

GPS devices, which are also known as satellite navigation systems have become increasingly popular throughout the UK. Many people now choose to buy cars which have these devices installed and many people choose to buy an individual GPS console, with the most popular manufacturer being TomTom. The GPS device has revolutionised the way people travel from one destination to another, it has almost made the traditional map redundant.

GPS stands for Global Positioning System; it consists of three different segments. These segments are a space segment, a control segment and a user segment. The GPS was invented by the US Department of Defence but was commercialised for the public in 1996. The majority of satellite navigation system feature street maps and allow users to plan routes from one destination to another. Planning a route can be completed through entering the postcode of the desired destination or by entering the address.

Different providers of these devices offer different services. For example some providers give information for free, meaning the only cost is for the actual unit. Some providers offer a service which gives real time traffic news; this is usually a service which has to be paid for. Some new systems are now able to anticipate where there is heavy traffic and provide an alternative route which will enable the driver to get to their destination quicker. The majority of devices feature 3D colour maps which mirror the driving perspective; they also provide voice directions and points of interest. The voice which is used to provide the directions can usually be changed in order to meet the requirements of the driver. The point of interest feature is a useful tool to use, as it can usually give interest points such as petrol stations and hotels.

When these systems first became available they were only available to buy at places such as car accessory shops. Although, as the popularity of them has increased, the number of retailers stocking them has also increased greatly. This means that consumers can buy a GPS system from many different outlets, including supermarket stores. As these systems can be bought from a wide range of places, people should look around at different retailers to ensure that they get the best valued product. There are also now a lot more manufacturers of the systems which mean there is a great choice for consumers.

As there is so much choice, consumers should weigh up the price of a product in comparison to the features which is offers. Some people may just wish to have a basic system which provides directions and some people may wish to have a system which provides real time updates. The more advanced GPS systems now also provide information on the location of speed cameras and also mobile speed cameras. This information often has to be updated and therefore people will have to pay to update their system, this is an extra cost which should be considered.

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