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Linux phone offers voice navigation

Mar 15, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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A Linux-based phone with mapping and voice navigation capabilities has gone on sale in China. The Tranzda PM328 can help users locate nearby businesses, such as restaurants and gas stations, and then guide them to their destination with voice prompts, according to GPS module supplier U-blox.

(Click for larger view of the Tranzda PM328)


PM328's GPS mapping
interface

(Click to enlarge)

The Tranzda PM328 phone has a thin form-factor just 0.6 inches (16mm) thick, and includes a USB port and a Bluetooth radio. Other details are sketchy; however, computer translations of Chinese websites suggest it to be powered by a single-chip, multi-core processor, with the baseband processor driving a CDMA transceiver. That, along with the GPS interface, suggests that the phones multi-processor could be Qualcomm's multi-chip module.

Swiss GPS radio vendor U-blox says the PM328 incorporates one of its LEA-4S GPS receiver modules, touted for its “outstanding” sensitivity up to -158dBm, small size of 1.1 x 0.9 inches (22.4 x 17mm), and low power requirements. The vendor claims that PM328 users can use the phone's WAP browser to locate nearby destinations, such as restaurants and gas stations, and then be guided in by voice prompts from the device.

On the software side, the PM328 phone appears to be based on a “Newplus” stack resembling Trolltech's Qt framework or Microsoft's Foundation Class libraries. Possibly created by Tranzda, Newplus appears to be available in three versions — one supporting RTOSes (real-time operating systems), one supporting Linux, and one supporting Windows Mobile. In the case of the PM328, a Linux core was chosen.

On top of the Newplus framework, the PM328 appears to run a variety of typical multimedia smartphone applications, including a WAP 1.0/2.0 browser, PC synchronization tools for data and music, messaging and email clients, and PIM (personal information management) software such as a contacts database.

U-blox CEO Thomas Seiler stated, “The PM328 offers everything a handset user could dream of, including phone and PDA functionality, several multimedia features and, of course, the latest must-have for handheld devices: a high performance GPS engine that provides accurate, uninterrupted positioning indoors and outdoors.”

Availability

U-blox says the PM328 smartphone is now for sale in China, although the image provided makes the design appear to be more of a reference implementation of Newplus than a consumer product.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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