Hands on with the TomTom GO 950 Live

LatestGadget.co.uk contributor Andrew Rafter braves the freezing weather to test the TomTom GO 950 Live.

TomTom’s Live was a massive step forward when it arrived last year via the Go x40 series. It was such a step forward that TomTom’s new 950 offers less radical improvements but is now the ultimate Satellite Navigation System for professional drivers and heavy commuters.

Costing £299 it is certainly not a cheap sat-nav but this years model has come with notable additions including the ability to report new speed camera locations, which then can be uploaded to TomTom’s safety camera database. And with the inclusion of a mobile data link the database should be the most up to date possible.

Other additions come when you calculate a new route, the sat-nav figures which road to use it then offers a panel on the right which is called LIVE snapshot, which gives you information regarding cheapest petrol on route, traffic summary and of course safety cameras.

The main new component is the HD Traffic which is the best traffic resource available today, if you’re travelling over a 100 miles this new feature will certainly save you time by re-routing around traffic hot-spots via TomTom’s Live service.

Live-enabled TomTom sat-navs rely on a nifty mobile data link allowing them to access Google Local Search via the sat-nav itself.  The Live services cost £7.99 a month and is definitely an effective way of saving time if you’re a regular commuter, but if you only use your sat-nav occasionally the £7.99 won’t be justifiable.

Another difference in this year’s version is that TomTom’s live services will now work in mainland Europe including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Portugal. Not all these countries offer all the service but they now all support the HD traffic and Google Search – which is a notable inclusion.

The device comes with voice command, which we tested thoroughly and it seemed to work around 90% of the time, but sometimes failed to recognise complex destination names.

We were able to hook up a mobile phone to the sat-nav via Bluetooth and we were able to make and receive phone calls at the touch of a button using the new and improved on-board built-in speaker, which is much louder and clearer than previous models.

The TomTom 950 isn’t a massive step forward and if you bought last year’s model there is nothing here for you to consider upgrading for. But if you are a heavy commuter and willing to splash-out the £299 and you will see notable savings in travel times and stress, which can only be a good thing.

Car accident? Dash Cam Dually is already at the scene

The days of witnesses dashing to the scene of motoring accidents may be numbered, as the Dash Cam Dually – a twin-camera dash-mounted device which records car crashes – has arrived on the scene. Quoted as “the final answer to all car cameras”, this innovative product is fitted with a flock of features and software and is perhaps the most reliable eye-witness available on standby, taking the rapidly evolving micro snooping technology market to new heights.

car-cam-duallyEquipped with two 1.3 megapixel cameras, a digital compass, GPS tracking to monitor speed, direction and exact location, a shock sensor with five level settings that will sense an unexpected change in g-force, this sleek and unobtrusive device is mounted onto a car’s dashboard and from there can trace what is happening inside and outside of the vehicle. The information is recorded onto a 2GB SD card.  This ingenious device includes software which shows users camera angles and Google Map locations during playback.

Accidents occurring in the twilight hours don’t thwart the Dually’s vision as the camera is armed with 4 infrared LEDs to light up a vehicle’s interior for capturing nighttime footage, without disturbing the driver or passengers.

Of course the camera’s ability to record multiple impact points and thereby become an indispensable spectator of potential accidents is far from the unit’s only talent. Parents with prying eyes can cunningly become familiar of the driving habits of their teenagers. Equally as devious, employers may also use the camera to their advantage by reducing liability when company cars are involved in collisions.

The Dash Cam Dually can only be described as a remarkable advancement in vehicle surveillance technology, which is a world apart from many of the mainstream and cyclical gadgets currently congesting the marketplace. Although the downside of this twin camera is as it is retailing at a hefty $349-385 (about £237), many motorists may choose to bypass the sophisticated spy mechanism in favor for relying on the old-fashioned means of eye witnesses – Although this more primitive method won’t be able to tell if your kids are speeding about in your car or not!

Available from http://www.spygadgets.com/car-camera-dash-cam.html