Out on the floor at MWC, we’ve been catching up with a number of our partners. One is Garmin, which announced at Congress a new navigation app exclusively for Xperia smartphones, including a rather cool extension for Sony smartwatch 2.
The Garmin Xperia Edition, which will come preloaded on all Xperia handsets announced at MWC, features onboard maps, lane guidance, speed warnings, traffic, social media integration and more.
The new app also seamlessly integrates with Sony smartwatch 2 to display walking directions, meaning you can get the information you need right on your wrist, leaving your phone in your pocket or bag.
I caught up with Garmin’s Technical Product Manager, Tudor Tiplea to get up to speed…
Hi Tudor, so what’s the news on the app?
“This week we announced Garmin Xperia Edition which includes unique integration with Sony smartwatch 2. Essentially we’re taking navigation out of the car and giving it to pedestrians on their wrist.”
Can you give us more details about how it will work on smartwatch 2?
“The extension for smartwatch 2 will be available in Google Play, and it will let smartwatch 2 receive navigation information, via Bluetooth, from the smartphone. Users will see a detailed map on their wrist, making it easy to navigate on foot. You will be able to see your current position, as well as your route, and there’s also a neat zoom function which lets you take a closer look at your map.”
So when you use the app, I take it you need to be online?
“No, not at all. Garmin Xperia Edition features onboard maps stored locally on the smartphone, so you can navigate even in areas where cell phone coverage is spotty.
“Garmin Xperia Edition also offers multiple options to search for points of interest. The app combines an onboard database with other sources such as Local Search, Wikipedia, Foursquare, or addresses from the user’s phone contacts.
“With its Reality Scanner function, users can even display nearby points of interest in a live camera view. The app also features a Trip Editor to plan trips with multiple destinations in advance. You can even share travel plans with friends and family via Glympse.”
That all sounds really cool – is there anything else we need to know?
“Well, the app offers advanced features to assist drivers like no other navigation app. Active Lane Guidance helps you get in the proper lane needed to make a turn and it even uses True 3D in-map views obtained from NASA’s height and terrain data to provide intuitive visual orientation. On top of that, its Live Weather feature displays real-time information on weather conditions.
“Once you arrive at your destination, Clever Parking provides information on nearby parking spots. Urban Guidance integrates public transportation, including detailed itineraries of transit stops, and the Last Mile function automatically saves the position of the parked car and switches into pedestrian mode to provide walking directions.”
Wow! The app sounds amazing. We’re really pleased to be working together on this. When can users expect to get their hands on it?
“Both the Garmin Xperia Edition and its extension for the smartwatch 2 are expected to become available throughout Europe in March 2014.”
Nice one. Thanks Tudor. Enjoy MWC!