Back in the old days when GPS was declassified by the military and the public was allowed full use through commercial signals, GPS devices were big clumsy gizmos that were composed of a personal computer, a giant disc where map information is stored, and another monitor. Then came the single-channel receivers and the first handheld units with black and white maps that introduced the world to the numerous wonders of Global Positioning Systems.

The technology was an exclusive utilisation of the army prior to it being declassified and having this same James Bond-type of capacities appealed to a few of the people who were prepared to hand over more than $500 for a device whose only function is to plot their coordinates on a digital map. But such price tags were sufficient in those days, in return for correct positional information for automobiles, boats, planes and other applications that need info regarding their coordinates.

This technology has gone a long way since then, as GPS navigational devices at last became smaller, more portable, more affordable, and packed with extra features. Other gadgets are riding on this popularity of GPS, for example incorporating cell-phone functionalities with GPS capabilities. The result's a continual competition between portable navigational devices and GSM telephones with GPS capacities in regards to what technology shall set the way forward for GPS.

China Changing the Name of the Ball Game

China's rise to economic power caused a rush of China-made products and gadgets into the global market, including GPS navigational devices. Online wholesalers are selling a wide selection of products and their in-flow into the world market resulted in important price falls on GPS devices. To keep prices at low levels, wholesalers distribute GPS products without pre-installed exclusive software and applications. They do however, offer unlocked GPS devices that can work with commercially available or perhaps open source GPS software.

Cellphones With GPS Functionalities

Microchips were developed that can provide GPS functionalities to cellphones, and these were first commercially introduced in 2004. Then in 2005, the federal Communications Commission issued a mandate called E911 that needed telephone manufacturers to include GPS receivers into their mobile phones. This law was essentially set to help emergency reply units simply find the unit position during emergencies.

The booming popularity of smartphones and 3G mobile devices made a rush of developers as well as OEM GPS manufacturers to introduce a wide selection of GPS Apps that may be used with these cellphones. Such applications provide a wide range of functionalities to these phones, some of which were exclusive features of stand-alone portable navigational devices. These include turn-by-turn navigational information for users and a large number of other features that GPS users may find extremely useful.

However, GPS phones lack the type of screen resolution that installed GPS receivers on vehicles and other automobiles have. This is due largely partly to the display size limitations that cell telephones have. Some users may find these screen constraints difficult to use especially when working with maps, and is not practical to use as a navigational device while driving.

The Future Of Cellular Telephones With GPS Functionalities

The rise of cellular phones with GPS functionalities is a serious blow to the private navigational device market. Many folks are taking advantage of the assorted applications available with smartphones including its incorporated GPS features that many smartphone users find it unrealistic to have a separate device only for GPS navigation.

This prompted GPS devices makers to incorporate a large number of other features into these devices that go past their core functionality of getting satellite coordinates and giving directions. These added features include multi media player capacities, Bluetooth, FM transmitters, net browsing and other features and capacities that would supply a boost to the market appeal of these GPS devices.

Excepting their core functionalities, a thin line divides the features between a personal GPS navigator and GPS telephones. Both are setting trends towards the way ahead for GPS, but only the response of buyers to these trends will at last determine which will be the dominant GPS technology in the future.

Source by Liu Kate