Just shut up and drive with the Nokia 6110

25 Dec

In order to show off its latest toy, Nokia took a chirpy bunch of scribes on a treasure hunt last week. We were divided into five teams, bundled into cars fitted with the 6110 Navigator and handed out a clue. The objective was to follow the clue, look up the navigator to find the destination and then give directions to the driver to reach the destination. That was about it or so we thought.

Thanks to our earlier experience with GPS functionality of the Nokia E90 and the N95, getting accustomed to the 6110 didn’t take long. The first thing we did was to set the routing to ‘shortest route’, which though doesn’t means the fastest but ensures that you give many signal crossings a miss and hence save some precious time. One thing that we noticed about the navigation software on the 6110 was that it was way better than that found on the E90 or the N95. We were later told that the one on the 6110 is powered by Route66, while the others are based on Wayfinder with maps from Navteq. 

The clues were simple but since none of my team-mates were familiar with the area (unlike some teams), the navigator was our sole companion. We did manage to screw up with one clue and found ourselves scratching our heads (not the navigator’s fault). The navigator, on its part, was accurate to less than 10 metres, which is way too good! In order to test its re-routing capabilities, we deliberately didn’t take a turn that it instructed us to take and were surprised to see a new route based on our current location prop up in less than two seconds! There were no hang-ups and it didn’t even make us wait for it to plot a new route.

Half-an-hour into the treasure hunt, our driver, Mahesh Negi – who never floored the gas pedal over 40 kmph, was clued in to the navigator business. The 6110 has dual speakers and the audio instructions are heard loud and clear even in slightly heavy traffic conditions. Now all we did was set the destination and Negi would follow the instructions. We think that’s the real acceptance for the 6110 – real people, in real conditions using GPS. The 6110 is priced at Rs 20,869, which we feel is slightly steep for this device.

And if you are wondering who won the treasure hunt, we didn’t. We came second, after a team of photojournalists who relied on their photographic memory than the GPS. Well, it seems that technology still can’t match the beauty of a human brain.

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