New Bluetooth GPS Products on the Way

Two manufacturers have announced new GPS receivers that are compatible with Palm OS devices. The Global Position Satellite receivers can operate via third party serial cables or wirelessly via Bluetooth.

DeLorme Earthmate GPSDeLorme Earthmate
DeLorme has released a new matchbox sized GPS receiver. The unit is WAAS enabled for greater GPS accuracy. With the device's removable cabling it will work with many models of PalmOS handhelds in conjunction with third-party serial cables. Because it lacks a built in power source, it requires power from the host device. It is 1 7/8" wide by 2 3/32" long by x 13/16" deep.

Before the end of the summer DeLorme expects to ship an add-on combination Bluetooth powerpack. This will allow the device to be used wirelessly with a Bluetooth-enabled handheld computer or laptop.

The DeLorme Earthmate will be available by the end of May, pricing starts at $99 USD.

TomTom Wireless GPS receiver
The recently announced TomTom Navigator 2 Wireless is the smallest and lightest GPS device currently on the market. It uses Bluetooth for wire-free operation. It is powered by a rechargeable battery, which according to the manufacturer will last five hours of continuos operation.

TomTom Wireless GPS receiver

It will be available as a standalone product in June and is compatible with any Bluetooth-enabled device, which then can be used in combination with GPS enabled software.

Socket Communications has also had a Bluetooth GPS receiver on the market since December. The Socket Bluetooth GPS Receiver provides 12-channel all-in-view tracking of satellites, a rechargable Lithium-ion battery with up to 6 hrs battery life and 12 channel all-in-view satellite tracking. It sells for $399.

Thanks to Craig Simpson for the tip.

Article Comments


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. PalmInfocenter is not responsible for them in any way.
Please Login or register here to add your comments.

Comments Closed Comments Closed
This article is no longer accepting new comments.


Not the full list!

Georg @ 5/13/2003 5:26:57 PM #
There are much more Bluetooth GPS in the "pipe"!!!
Ricaline from Taiwan will bring a Bluetooth GPS very soon, Navman already displayed his Blootooth GPS at Cebit, Holux athough will be on the market with Bluetooth GPS too.
The Socket Bluetooth is made by Emtac in Taiwan. The same Bluetooth GPS is avalible for 100 Dollar less from several dealers in Europe! Although have an look under:

Other Bluetooth GPS Solutions
pdangel @ 5/14/2003 3:36:19 AM #
Ricaline and Holux are new to me georg. Thanx. I found these.... ;o) Holux is also a partner of Baracoda which makes Bluetooth Barcode readers by the way.

Bluetooth GPS Solutions

TomTom Wireless GPS Palmtop BV GPS Receiver with Bluetooth Connectivity

Hiper+ and Hiper Lite GPS receiver Topcon Positioning Systems Inc. Hiper+ and Hiper Lite are Bluetooth enabled portable 40 channel GPS/GLONASS receivers. Bluetooth connectivity enables wireless communication between the receiver and other handheld computers, PDAs or field data collectors

Centrality Processor for Mobile Devices Combines GPS and Bluetooth The Silicon Valley-based company intros two GPS, Bluetooth, and camera-enabled ARM9/DSP dual-core processors for use in mobile devices or cars.

DeLorme New Flexible GPS Solution works with USB laptops, Pocket PC and Palm OS handheld computers, and Bluetooth-enabled devices * all at mass-market prices never before available

TechnoCom announces the demonstration of BlueLocator(TM), the first of TechnoCom's family of Bluetooth(TM) enabled intelligent messaging and GPS location solutions.

Pretec Bluetooth/GPS CF Card


Fortuna GPSmart Bluetooth receiver Semson & Co is taking pre-orders for a stand-alone GPS unit with a monochrome screen that can also be networked with a Palm OS or Pocket PC handheld via Bluetooth. The current price for the Fortuna Bluetooth GPSmart is $250, but that will go up to $280 on March 1. The expected shipping date is March 15.

Leadtek BT GPS receiver integrates Bluetooth module into GPS device. Leadtek demonstrated a new family of innovative GPS products at CeBIT. The new products include the GPS 9534, the world's thinnest CF Type I form factor GPS receiver; the GPS 9537, a GPS receiver with Bluetooth integrated; and the GPS 9568, the world's first GPS/GSM/GPRS three-in-one receiver.

Bluetooth GPS receiver by EMTAC (Tungsten T info)

Bluetooth GPS with TeleType GPS Software

Socket Bluetooth GPS receiver

LinksPoint’s Bluetooth GPS receiver

Trimble Introduces Bluetooth Enabled GPS Surveying System

Florida company Ashvattha Semiconductor claims to have a single chip that combines the radio sides of GSM and GPRS mobile phone standards, a GPS satellite navigation system and a Bluetooth personal area network.

PDA GPS Solutions,4814,77807,00.html

More Bluetooth-GPS Solutions will follow imho...

"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"

RE: Not the full list!
pdangel @ 5/14/2003 3:50:37 AM #
Forgot to add that some offer the same solution just under another brand.

"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"
Leica Geosystems GS20 Professional Data Mapper
pdangel @ 5/14/2003 5:17:22 AM #
Found this one today....

Leica Geosystems GS20 Professional Data Mapper (PDM) is a GPS handheld unit that uses Bluetooth™ wireless communication with proven DGPS correction technologies to achieve sub-meter accuracy without a backpack.

Like a said.....more will follow

"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"


abosco @ 5/13/2003 5:39:03 PM #
Does anybody know how much the TomTom costs? That looks interesting and I could find it useful for driving.

Also, the link for it is wrong. That is for the PPC version.

That's the link you want.

Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3
Now accepting new applications

RE: Cost?
abosco @ 5/13/2003 5:42:01 PM #
Err... maybe not. Sorry, didn't realize there was only a PPC link to the Bluetooth accessory.

Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3
Now accepting new applications
RE: Cost?
orol @ 5/13/2003 6:29:44 PM #
349 punds BT GPS + navigator 2 or standalone GPS unit 249 .. in june available in benelux, in july in the rest of the world

RE: Cost?
mikemusick @ 5/13/2003 6:32:35 PM #
[sigh] The TomTom is yet another Bluetooth product with no apparent U.S. version in sight. Bluetooth is dying a slow death here because of product availability problems. Anybody have a good answer why? Is it the FCC compliance testing costs? BT licensing issues?

Maybe the DeLorme BT sled for the new Earthmate will help fix that. I hope so, but DeLorme's track record on compatibility is not good. Both of their earlier GPS products, the Tripmate and the current Earthmate model, had intentional quirks engineered into them that made things difficult for non-DeLorme software.

Few reasons why.....
pdangel @ 5/14/2003 3:55:14 AM #
There are various reasons imho why Bluetooth isn't widespread available in the US. A few are imho....

-Bluetooth has been hyped too much by certain companies and people within the industry; that i could do everything.... A shame because, Bluetooth can do a lot but certainly not everything. It's good to see that there is much more (BT) realism these days. Bluetooth is mainly a cable replacement although it can be used as networking technology. 802.11 is favoured when it comes to networking here. But it's also e.g bigger sized, power hungry, favoured for different applications etc. Hype can reverse into doom and gloom. And that happened feeded by indepth articles (NOT) by so-called tech experts who thought (some still do) that Bluetooth and 802.11 are pure competitors. Bluetooth and 802.11 are 2 different technologies for different uses/needs. Average people still think the technologies are JUST competitors....

Bluetooth and Wifi Differences and Coexistence: Bluetooth and (not Versus) Wi-Fi

-US companies and people HYPE 802.11 and favour 802.11 OVER Bluetooth. They just think that Bluetooth has less range (BT products with class 1 have a range upto 100m/300f) and speed (Bluetooth v1.2 is coming end 2003 with 2-3Mbps, backwards competable with v1.1). Both are true but both technologies are also different and serve different needs (e.g Bluetooth is low power, small sized, inexpensive; $4-$10, different appl. etc.). Bluetooth is fully mobile when 802.11 is mainly hotspot related. Especially Europe is more mobile phone orientated. Here you will find various BT products besides 802.11 gear (which is more and more available).

-US Carriers have snoozed when it comes to Bluetooth. They didn't say the advantages. AT&T, T-Mobile and Cingular offer BT products/services and Sprint is going to offer a Bluetoth CDMA phone soon FINALLY!!!!! Verizon seems to have there own view. Or have they seen the light????? The following article is about Verizon (Macy Bodenhamer) who talks about handsfree cell phones into cars (Bluetooth is also mentioned):

"When you're behind the wheel of a car, it's important to remember that safety is your most important priority," said Macy Bodenhamer with Verizon Wireless. There are a lot of models of headsets to choose from....

HELLO VERIZON, this is one of the applications where Bluetooth comes in sm@rt guys....pffffff

-Interoperability and costs have/are holding Bluetooth for mass appeal. Bluetooth chips are know offered for $10-$5 or less (see TI, Broadcom, CSR even talks about $3 soon).

-Bluetooth seems to be overshadowed by the success of WiFi. Some of the consequenses are that companies are using Wifi also for applications were it's not been developed for. Can you blame them?

-We will see more and more Bluetooth-WiFi Co-existence Technologies and Products in the future


"There are 2 kind of people my friend....those with wires and those without"


kailou @ 5/13/2003 5:59:09 PM #
Anyone have objective/subjective experience with performance? I've already read threads about poor GPS performance with any PDA - basically not enough CPU power, slow redraw, low memory for storing maps. I'm concludig that any direct attach GPS will communicate with the PDA more quickly than BT - safe assumption? How does the speed of BT communication impact the GPS performance?

RE: Performance?
cbowers @ 5/13/2003 6:18:57 PM #
"Anyone have objective/subjective experience with performance?"

Shouldn't be any different than with a cabled GPS. Most GPS's integrate with a serial port, bluetooth has much more bandwidth, though it's doubtful the GPS's need to make use of it. NMEA gets it's job done with very little bandwidth. And even at the slowest of slow speeds, unless you're going *very* fast, one update per second is often more than sufficient.

"I've already read threads about poor GPS performance with any PDA - basically not enough CPU power, slow redraw, low memory for storing maps."

Nah, they're fine. Obviously one needs a PDA with sufficient RAM if they're doing any mapping, but 8MB's has met my needs for road level detail. It will be interesting to see what sort of detail Garmin will bring to the content on their PalmOS PDA.

"I'm concludig that any direct attach GPS will communicate with the PDA more quickly than BT - safe assumption?"


As said above, GPS is a serial connection, and a slow one at that. NMEA GPS output is generally run at 4800 Kbps, but the full range is 1200 to 112,000 Kbps. Bluetooth has a theoretical maximum of over 700,000 Kbps. But as mentioned, there's no need for anything fast with GPS. Unless you're talking about rich mapping detail, and then yes, your PDA might be a little snappier with a fast processor and lots of RAM. But I did lots of mapping with a GPS connect via cable with a high-res 33Mhz Palm PDA, 8MB's of RAM, and 256MB's of flash storage.

"How does the speed of BT communication impact the GPS performance?"

Not one bit.

RE: Performance?
treo007 @ 5/13/2003 6:31:12 PM #
Would be great if they (Tom Tom) would produce a version of its Navigator software for the Palm OS. OS 5.0 and the processors that run it are more than adequate to handle the program. The 3-D mapping and voice prompts on that piece of software far outshine software such as Mapopolis.

RE: Performance?
kailou @ 5/13/2003 8:04:29 PM #
This is good feedback, thanks. My speed assumptions were based on my own experience with BT hotsync vs cradle - BT is *MUCH* slower. Happy to hear it shoudn't be an issue in this application.

Should I infer that you are storing your maps on the 256 card? You must be, 8 or 16 just ain't enough! 64mb on my Garmin holds less than 1/2 of California! Will the PDA mapping app read straight from the SD or do you have to swap it to local RAM? (sorry if that's a basic question, I haven't dealt with external flash since my *old* visor :-) I guess this would really be a question for another forum...

RE: Performance?
hkklife @ 5/13/2003 9:58:40 PM #
Going away from the original poster's comments...

What I'd LOVE to see is a hybrid GPS/portable DVD player. Take one of the standard clamshell-style Pansonic or Toshiba portable movie players and add GPS functionality to it. You could have a heap of data stored on a single DVD-ROM disc and the 16:9 screen would make for a nice map display--far better than any PDA, even Garmin's upcoming unit. The atnenna could be of a stubby flip-up style. Battery life would be irrelevant due to the fact that most everyone now has a spare 12v socket to plug these things into. After you're done driving and navigating for the day, sit in your hotel room and enjoy a flick.

Icing on the cake would be an SD slot built into the side of the unit so that you can play MP3s or run a jpeg slideshow when you are not navigating. I cannot fathow how any of the manufacturers are selling any of the 5.8"--8" portable DVD players, since for the same money you can buy a cheap laptop with oodles more functionality and a far bigger screen to watch movies on. On that same note, all of the portable GPS units I've seen (I own the first-gen Garmin color unit) use expensive & limited memory cards for storage, if they are even expandable at all. Even the newer Magellan handhelds that use SD for storage can't hold a candle to the storage capacity of a single DVD. If the car manufacturers have had DVD navigation systems for several years now, then why can't someone introduce a portable with the same functionality? I've personally tried several Palm-based GPS solutions on my T|T and subscribe to Mapopolis and own the Garmin receiver mentioned above...all of them sit on the shelf collecting dust due to general awkwardness/poor UI/limited & pricey memory choices.

RE: Performance?
k1w1 @ 5/14/2003 12:03:38 AM #
Sorry for continuing an OT discussion you mean something like this ( It would be nice to see a few electronics giants other than Sony do something with Palm OS.
RE: Performance?
hkklife @ 5/14/2003 11:14:53 PM #
Wow, k1w1, that's interesting looking item. What *is* it, exactly? Is it basically what I described above, minus the calmshell design? I'm surprised I've never read anything else about this anywhere on the 'net-but then again, they get all of the good stuff in Japan.

I have to agree with you that I wish that some other major manufacturer would have ridden into the PDA market on the back of the Palm OS-Panasonic would have been a good choice due to their unwavering support of SD but Sony probably nixed that one. Toshiba would've been just about the ideal candidate, though. I guess we're left to root for Apple or IBM entering the fray.

RE: Performance?
k1w1 @ 5/15/2003 9:36:46 AM #
That "thing" is a Sanyo "Gorilla" which is a portable DVD powered navigation system for your car primarily but its also portable, plus can pick up a TV signal and play CD's for audio and DVD's for movies. My car here in Japan has a DVD navigation system built into the dash but it would be great to have something like the Gorilla with a PalmOS. I could leave my regular Palm in my pocket and it would sync via Bluetooth so my contact addresses would be loaded into my car and then I could set the GPS to direct me wherever. Information services combined with navigation for cars are becoming very resonably priced options now. I wonder if anyone is seriously thinking about putting PalmOS into something bigger than a regular sized Palm or Dana. Remember Audrey anyone?

RE: Performance?
Smaug @ 5/16/2003 12:59:51 PM #
Hate to go even more off topic, but with 6 inch DVD players as low as 230$. They service a diffrent market then laptops.

Is Wi-Fi GPS possible?

Be_True @ 5/13/2003 7:53:26 PM #
Having just upgrading to a Tungsten C, (got tired of waiting for the new Garmin) is it possible to Wi-Fi a GPS receiver? Are there any in the works?


RE: Is Wi-Fi GPS possible?
Davy Fields @ 5/13/2003 9:20:55 PM #
There's no reason it's not:


1. WiFi uses up way too much power... perhaps not in the case of the Tungsten C, but in a tiny device like this GPS units are.

2. The amount of data transfered is really, really slow... the GPS units aren't downloading the maps or anything... just a set of numbers that pinpoint your location, which is basically just a few bits a second... using Bluetooth is overkill, using WiFi is crazy... it's like trying to water one flower with Niagra falls.

-Davy Fields

What is the "new Garmin"?
RAMd®d @ 5/14/2003 10:37:39 AM #
Is this a Palm OS based product, and not it's PPC/GPS product?

I didn't see anything at their site.

An armed society is a polite society.

RAMd®d @ 5/14/2003 10:41:56 AM #
I didn't realize that the iQue 3600 was a Palm OS unit.

For some reason I thought it was a PPC derivitive.

An armed society is a polite society.

RE: Is Wi-Fi GPS possible?
ZekeSulastin @ 5/15/2003 9:00:16 AM #
It uses a modified version of Palm OS 5 - the main change being the support for 32MB of RAM, since PalmSource hadn't fixed the limit at that time.

Cell Phones

Rhauer @ 5/13/2003 8:20:06 PM #
It seems like there will be more GPS receivers with BT then phones. Hopefully there will be some more phones announced soon.

RE: Cell Phones
Zuber @ 5/14/2003 1:09:35 PM #
There are plenty of Bluetooth phones (at least 7 or 8 I can think of) what you talking about man ?

Sorry, you mean ones that work on that funny non GSM thing they have in the US ;)


Tom Tom - Not Not?

ankers @ 5/16/2003 3:02:36 PM #
Decided to ask TomTom about release dates, here's their response:

Thanks for your mail. Currently, we do not have plans to release Bluetooth GPS
competble software fot the palm Thungsten However, we have filed your suggestion
and will use it as input.

Watch our website at to stay informed of new releases.


TomTom Customer Services

So what do people think the best Palm software is to work with one of these BT units?


a Brit in Clogland