If you're planning on following the summertime ritual of taking to the road, there are a few new gadgets to know about.
Technology expert Brett Larson visits The Early Show to demonstrate some products that help make driving trips easier and more entertaining.
The following are a few gadgets to consider for your next road trip:
Magellan Roadmate 700 GPS, $1,299
The Magellan RoadMate700 is a portable navigation system for your vehicle, and comes with preloaded maps of the United States, Canada and Mexico. User must upload specific regional maps from supplied software onto the memory card. The GPS ships with a windshield mount; other mounting options are available. The GPS gives audible turn-by-turn directions so the driver doesn't have to take his eyes from road to look at the onscreen map. Also, it comes with a color touchscreen where the user keys in address or point of interest. The Roadmate even automatically recalculates a route after a missed turn.
For more information, go to Magellangps.com.
Cell Phone Headset, $150 for phone; $100 for headset
The Motorola V600 phone and Bluetooth Headset V600 combination includes an advanced full-color screen and video clip playback capabilities- - all in a single, sleek flip-phone. Bluetooth wireless connectivity, quad-band technology and situational lighting incorporate full-featured applications designed to help users stay connected throughout their travels. The Bluetooth headset has a unique foldable microphone to easily connect to calls; can be worn over either ear; its volume control remains in an upward position; and features a pulsing light that shows when you are on a call.
For more information, go to Cingular.com.
XM Satellite Radio offers 120 channels of commercial-free music and a variety of talk radio. You can listen to XM on your car radio with the Delphi XM Roady, a compact device that plugs into your cigarette lighter. XM Radio is ideal for summer road trips. It has music channels for every taste, including children's music, bluegrass, classical, reggae and alternative rock. You can also listen to news, sports and stand-up comedy. XM even offers 24-hour traffic reports for major cities across the United States, including beach traffic. And since XM is broadcast via satellite nationwide, you can listen to your favorite stations wherever you travel, from coast to coast. XM has a subscription fee of $10 a month. The Delphi XM Roady radio costs $119. XM has been around for two-and-half years, and it already has 1.7 million subscribers. It's one of the fastest-growing audio products to date.
For more information about XM Radio, go to XMradio.com.
Satellite TV, $3,495
KVH's TracVision A5 is the first and only satellite TV available now for passenger vehicles, opening an entire video market through the development of low profile antenna technology practical for use aboard an SUV, minivan, or other passenger vehicles. Vehicles equipped with a passenger entertainment system and TracVision A5 can receive live DIRECTTV broadcasts.
For more information, go to Tracvision.com.
Portable DVD Player, $500
The MV65ST Portable DVD Dream System offers everything needed to enjoy DVD movies in the car, in the home and on the go. The model has a 6.5-inch 16:9 liquid crystal display (LCD) that swivels and pivots to facilitate a variety of viewing positions, depending on the needs of the family and their car. It can be safely mounted in virtually any convenient location, such as on the center console, or with its supplied straps suspended between the front seats. The system also presents users with three different options for listening to movies. For example, families can utilize the built-in FM wireless transmitter, which sends the sound from the movie through nearly any FM car radio, they can listen to the built-in stereo speakers, or for a private audio experience, users can plug optional headphones into the two headphone jacks. Comes with its own carrying bag, home AC power adapter and car cigarette lighter adapter.
Comforts of Home
Seat Massager, $99
10-Motor Massaging Seat Topper with Heat
Turns any desk chair or car seat into a soothing, therapeutic experience. A total of 10 massage motors, positioned in five massage zones (upper back, mid back, lower back/lumbar, upper thigh and lower thigh) isolate distinct muscle groups. Enhanced ergonomic design contours to your body to provide stimulating massage at home, work or while driving. Features full-function LCD remote, a heat setting for your lower back, three massage programs, and multiple speed/intensity settings. Comes equipped with an automatic 20-minute on/off.
For more information, go to Brookstone.com.
Hot And Cold Car Snack Box, $79.95
Fits like a console on a seat and keeps drinks and snacks ice-cold (or hot) in your car. Simply plug into dashboard. Also works with optional AC adapter (Additional $39.95). Holds six 12-ounce beverage cans and a sandwich. Also features two external cup/can holders.
For more information, go to Sharperimage.com.
Other Useful Car Gadgets
Roadside Auto Emergency Kit, $80
Comprehensive kit includes everything from jumper cables to lug wrenches, so you can hit the road with confidence. Features all the essential emergency tools to get you back on the road quickly and safely. Perfect for commuters, travelers and students. Kit includes a first aid kit, emergency light, jumper cables, reflector triangle, digital tire gauge, lug wrench with double-sided sockets, screwdrivers, insulated slip pliers, plug-in air compressor and durable case.
For more information, go to Brookstone.com.