Garmin launches connected services: nüLink!

Garmin has announced the nüvi 1690, a portable navigation device (PND) with a built-in wireless module that lets customers tap into Garmin’s nüLink! service that provides direct links to certain online information like Google™ local search, traffic, weather, fuel prices, movie listings, flight status, local events, white page telephone listings and Ciao!™, Garmin’s exclusive location-based social networking system that connects multiple networks into a single portal for Garmin users.

The U.S. version of the nüvi 1690 comes with two years of free Garmin nüLink! service, which makes it the first PND to offer an extended period of online features included in the purchase price of the device.

The European version of the nüvi 1690 comes with one year of free Garmin nüLink! Service that may be accessed almost anywhere customers may roam in Europe. The nüvi 1690 is the first online PND to include cross Europe roaming and a significant period of online service included in the purchase price of the device.

Customers can also use the nüLink! white page telephone listing feature to search for a person’s street address by their first name, last name or phone number.

In addition to the local search capabilities, Garmin nüLink! offers a plethora of other online services.  Local events and movie listings help customers find interesting activities wherever they might travel.  Real-time flight status takes the stress out of traveling to the airport with up-to-the minute arrival and departure information for major air carriers.  And the Garmin nüLink! traffic feature provides the best-in-class information from NAVTEQ to help customers navigate in and around congestion.

Map and traffic data (in the US) is provided by NAVTEQ.

The nüvi 1690 is also Garmin’s first mobile navigation device to transform traditional social networking into location-enabled social networking. Through Ciao!, a patent-pending social network application that links multiple location-centric social networks onto one application, customers have the option of sharing their whereabouts with friends and family. Ciao! users will see their friends’ location on a map and then be able to navigate to that location. Ciao! currently aggregates information from GyPSii and uLocate’s Buddy Beacon social network services. Ciao! is expandable and additional social network partners are expected in the future.

The U.S. version of the nüvi 1690 has preloaded maps of North America and is expected to be available in the fourth quarter for a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $499.99.

In the U.S., the first two years of Garmin nüLink! is free, and after that, the subscription renewal price for data services is $5.00/month.  Fuel prices in the U.S. are updated daily.

In Europe, one year of Garmin nüLink! is free and after that, the subscription renewal price for data services is €79/year.

See press release here.

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