AfterDawn: Tech news

GSM&GPS in the Same Package from Benefon

Written by Jari Ketola @ 13 Oct 1999 11:12

Press Release
For release October 8th, 1999 at 10.00 Finnish Summer Time (0700 UTC)
BENEFON INTRODUCES WORLD'S FIRST GSM+GPS PERSONAL NAVIGATION PHONE, THE BENEFON ESC!

On Saturday, October 9, at Telecom 99 in Geneve, Benefon will introduce a revolutionary new wireless instrument one never gets lost with. Featuring electronic maps, a GPS navigator, a personal organiser and an advanced dual-band GSM phone, the Benefon Esc! personal navigation phone is the complete survival pack of the contemporary nomad. Yet it is extremely small (129 x 49 x 23 mm) and weighs only 150 grams.

Benefon Esc!

Benefon Esc! is designed and engineered for the great outdoors. It is water and shock resistant, with stainless steel reinforced casing. Benefon Esc!'s design draws inspiration from the Finnish nature and the pure elements of water, rock, light and metal.

Benefon Esc! has a big screen to display maps and other navigational information, to guide oneself from one place to another, whether globetrotting, backpacking, biking or boating. Several maps, from around Europe, can be downloaded to Benefon Esc!, using any PC with a web browser. Touring maps, city maps, topographical maps and nautical charts are all supported.

Benefon Esc! has a state-of-the art twelve-channel GPS receiver and an integral high-gain flip antenna. The product enables graphical and numeric display of navigational information like location, speed, heading and world time. Additional functionality includes waypoints, routes, trip odometer and NMEA 0183 interface.

Friend Find is an exclusive feature of Benefon Esc! personal navigation phone. It tracks other users of Benefon Esc!, locates them on the map, and even guides the user to them. Benefon Esc! also has an emergency button, sending an SOS message with user's location.

The dualband GSM 900/1800 phone has unparalleled reception and RF technology for optimal connection and the widest possible coverage. This can be further extended by using the optional high-gain cross-country antenna. The standby operating time is up to ten days, and Enhanced Full Rate voice quality and vibrating alert come as standard features. Benefon Esc! is also a personal organiser and communication center. It comes complete with a phone book, calendar, appointment manager and alarm clock with snooze. Access to email and the web is enabled through the in-built 14.4 kbps GSM data and fax modem. Writing text messages and notes is made fast and easy by the big screen and predictive text input.

"The Benefon Esc! personal navigation phone further strengthens Benefon's position as the leading designer and manufacturer for innovative, high-quality wireless instruments. The product is a result of great and intense teamwork at Benefon, and it has been met with tremendeous enthusiasm wherever initially presented", said Jukka Nieminen, Director Product Marketing.

Benefon Esc! will be available during the first half of year 2000.

Additional information and photography about Benefon Esc! is available at www.benefon.com

Benefon is a leader in innovative wireless communication instruments, renown for their unparalleled performance, professional quality and Finnish design. Since 1988, Benefon has designed and manufactured products in Salo, the wireless industry centre of Finland.

For further information, please contact:

Mr. Jukka Nieminen
Director Product Marketing
Tel: +358-2-77 400
Mobile: +358-400-512 275
E-mail: jukka.nieminen@benefon.fi

*T9 is a trademark of Tegic Communications, Seattle, Washington

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