Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Garmin and Technology

My first experience with a Garmin was in New York City 10 years ago. I was calling on site location consultants and building relationships.  

I was solo on this trip. My boss, Wayne Sterling, suggested I get a Garmin. It is almost impossible to drive in New York/New Jersey and read a map.  It cost an additional $15 per day for the Garmin, but I decided to get one. It was amazing.  It was really big compared to the ones today.  You put it on the dashboard of the car.  

A simple story will explain how valuable it is to me.  For those who know me recall that I can be direction ally challenged.  Sometimes when my family takes trips my wife will navigate in big cities.  Often she will sweetly and kindly say "No George, right, go right." And proceed to point right as I veer left. 

She asked me what is it like to use a Garmin. I said it was like having you in the car providing navigation help. But, when I turned the wrong direction the Garmin did not call me stupid or roll her eyes.  The Garmin said "recalculating" and it was courteous. 

My family gave me a Garmin as a gift and I used it during my business travels.  I still take maps and I mapped out my trip, but I found myself using maps less and less. 

Take a look at the article linked below.  Now I read Garmin is struggling.  An amazing technology rapidly moving to obsolescence. The main reason? Mobile phones.  This article is interesting because it shows how technology can rapidly change people's use of products and Garmin's effort to remain relevant. 

Link:  http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/03/08/garmin-gps-dashboards/?iid=SF_F_River

I still use the Garmin, mainly because if I am lost or late, I can call on my cell.  You cannot do that if your phone is in essence your Garmin.  For as long as possible, I will keep my Garmin.  I know I will miss the British lady kindly helping me navigate strange cities and towns. Her voice reassuring and never a raised voice when I make a wrong turn. 

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