At a press conference held on January 6 2006, Pioneer Corp announced that it will release "AVIC-F500BT," a high performance PND equipped with a 5.8-inch WVGA LCD screen and a function comparable to a stationary automobile navigation system, in the North American market in the spring of 2008.
The outer dimensions are 17.8 x 10 x 1.9cm. It did not disclose the price, but intends to keep it under US$1,000.
AVIC-F500BT is characterized by the voice activation of "iPod" of Apple Computer of the US and mobile phones equipped with Bluetooth function. Moreover, it can be operated not only by conversation style voice but also by text style voice, unlike existing voice recognition systems.
Conventional systems required word-by-word direction for proper operation. "VoiceBox Conversational Voice Search Platform" manufactured by Voice Box Technologies of the US is employed for voice activation.
The navigation function is characterized by the displays of traffic information, weather forecast, gas prices, screen times, etc, which was made possible by using "MSN Direct," an information delivery service provided by Microsoft of the US on an FM airwave in North America. For the first three months after purchasing the main unit, the delivery service is provided for free, according to the company.
The system mounted with the "TTS (Text-to-Speech)" engine capable of voice synthesis allows not only directions for right or left-turns but also voice direction of turns and audio indication of road names, the company says.
AVIC-F500BT is equipped with an SD memory card slot and an input terminal for a vehicle-mounted camera. Therefore, users can play the music stored in an SD memory card and install a rear camera to check the rear vision in reversing.
In addition, if the system is connected to an automobile audio system equipped with an AUX terminal, you can listen to the music through the speakers installed in the vehicle.