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Last Updated Thu Mar 1, 2001 - 11:55 PM EST - By Marcus Adolfsson

Market for GeoDiscovery

"Initially we are going to market what we call active travelers - people traveling in a city environment and in back country environment. We have researched this whole travel space - when people travel they are taking information from a variety of places, from different websites, guide books… up until now there has really been no way to aggregate all the information into a package needed for the trip," said Sevy.

Various enterprise applications are also under consideration. "We have vertical opportunities that we are going to focus on, making sure we have the right partners to address those vertical spaces," continued Sevy.

The Geode Module

So far, only a limited numbers of beta units have been available. However, phase two of the hardware beta is in production right now, and one to two hundred units will be rolled out to a broader audience shortly.

GeoDiscovery faced parts problems during the design of the Geode GPS module because of the worldwide component shortages, but instead of waiting for the parts to become available, GeoDiscovery modified the Geode so it doesn't need those components. 

"It has been tricky. If we wouldn't have had any marketing visibility at all, we would not have gotten the parts. The suppliers are so constrained right now, that they are actually reviewing business plans to make sure that they are placing their bets on the right players. We have gotten such a positive response in the media and from users, which has really helped us. We are in good shape, " Sevy stated.

"Of course, we will be supply constrained. We will sell everything we can make this year. We will continue to work those issues aggressively, and make sure that we can get more units out," he added.

The GPS chipset is the Geode is based on a new technology - so new that GeoDiscovery had to wait for it to be available. In fact, it is the smallest chipset available, and also has the most intelligent firmware. 

"This chipset works very well in challenging environments," Sevy commented.

During a cold-cold start, where the GPS has no idea where it is, it takes about 30-45 seconds to acquire a position. Older systems, like my TripMate GPS, takes about 2-10 minutes to acquire an initial position. As long as you are in the same region, your start time with the Geode is under 8 seconds-Very impressive.

The Geode also contains two MMC slots and is bundled with one read-only MMC card that contains the basic map of the world, major cities, etc. Data downloaded from the web can be stored on the Visor, or on separately purchased MMCs.

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