ALPINES NEW PORTABLE NAVIGATION SYSTEM WITH IN-VEHICLE DOCKING SOLUTION|
TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 5, 2006 - Providing the ultimate in flexibility, portability and ease-of-use, Alpine Electronics of America, Inc., the industry-leading manufacturer of high-performance mobile electronics, today introduced Blackbird (PMD-B100), a new portable navigation device (PND) with a unique system docking capability and built-in traffic receiver.
After 20 years of navigation design and engineering experience, Alpine brings their expertise and award-winning performance to the portable navigation market for the first time. The winner of five J.D. Power awards for in-vehicle navigation and with more than 10 years of experience in the U. S. market, Alpine holds a position unrivaled by any other PND manufacturers.
Running on the Microsoft Windows CE platform, Blackbird includes comprehensive NAVTEQ" map coverage for the United States and Canada with full turn-by-turn voice instructions to virtually any address. As a portable device, the unit can be moved easily from car-to-car, yet it also can connect to a wired docking station (PMD-DOK1), available March 2006, allowing it to be fully controlled through one of Alpine's touch screen based AV head units. Blackbird's mapping, driving instructions and traffic alerts can then be viewed on the in-dash AV head unit, letting Blackbird serve as the main navigation "brain" in a complete audio/video/navigation (AVN) system. All controls and functions then can be managed from the larger touch-screen in-dash monitor or with an optional remote control. Docking the unit to the AV head unit delivers twice the processing power over competitor all-in-one AVN products. With the Blackbird dedicated to the navigation processing, this frees up the AV head unit to focus on the entertainment system operations.
"The unique value proposition with Blackbird is that it offers consumers a flexible solution for their in-vehicle navigation needs. It can be used as a portable navigation device and MP3 player, or as the navigation brain for an integrated in-dash system," said Stephen Witt, vice president, Marketing, Alpine Electronics. "We are giving consumers the flexibility to use their in-vehicle navigation any way they want, going from one car to another or docked for fully integrated in-vehicle performance."
Blackbird is the only PND that has a built-in radio data system (RDS) traffic tuner. The consumer does not have to buy any additional hardware to get the traffic service. With RDS traffic service, Blackbird will alert drivers to planned and unplanned road incidents like road construction or accidents and show road congestion levels. Drivers that subscribe to the service will also get weather information in the covered markets. The RDS traffic service will be available in selected markets in late spring 2006 (separate service subscription required).
The unit has a 4GB HDD containing preloaded maps of the United States and Canada and approximately 2 million Point of Interest (POI) locations. The 3.6-inch digital LCD touch screen delivers 16.7 million possible colors and anti-glare technology for easy at-a-glance visibility. Blackbird even has an Ambient Light Sensor that automatically controls the display brightness to optimize the screen visibility in day and night conditions.
Blackbird can function as a navigation system and music player simultaneously, using the built-in SD/MMC card slot. A built-in USB 2.0 connection facilitates the loading of mapping and software updates and the loading of MP3 files onto the SD card. Consumers can load their favorite MP3 or WMA files onto an SD/MMC card and then install this card into the Blackbird. These files can then be played back from the vehicle's FM radio using the FM modulator that is built-in to the Blackbird's supplied windshield cradle, or through headphones. Blackbird's unique NaviMix function automatically lowers the volume of the music playback during voice-delivered driving instructions. Blackbird uses an embedded Windows Media Player.
The sleek black aluminum design with back-lit laser-etched control pad redefine PND product design and can easily fit in a jacket pocket or purse. Alpine's exclusive Graphical User Interface (GUI for Drivers) screen graphics deliver easy-to-understand, at a glance on-screen driving directions, as well as simple and easy to use menus and controls.
The Blackbird unit comes with a cigarette lighter power adapter that works in all vehicles, a carrying case and wiping cloth, a PC mini-USB cable, a replaceable 1200 mAh lithium polymer battery, owner's manual and quick reference guide. Blackbird has an optional Second Car Kit, making sharing between family vehicles easy and simple.
Pricing and Availability
Blackbird (PMD-B100) will be available January at a suggested retail index of $750. The Blackbird docking station (PMD-DOK1) will be available March at a suggested retail index that is TBA.
About Alpine Electronics
Alpine Electronics is the world's leading automotive consumer electronics system supplier and an ISO certified corporation. Alpine specializes in an integrated platform concept for mobile multimedia with premium components for digital audio/video media playback, digital broadcast reception, and satellite linked navigation. With research and development facilities in Asia, Europe and the U.S., Alpine is the global leader for mobile sound systems and in-vehicle navigation for both after-market and OEM factory installations. Alpine Electronics is a consolidated subsidiary of Alps Electric Co., Ltd., one of the world's premier manufacturers of electronic components for computer, communications and car electronics equipment. Visit www.alpine-usa.com to learn more about Alpine products or to find an authorized retailer.