GPS and location-related features are undoubtedly gaining popularity on smartphones, but Dell hopes they’ll also become a major selling point for netbooks. The company plans to introduce an optional mini-PCI module with its Dell Mini 10 offering next week that combines both an internal GPS card from Broadcom and Wi-Fi triangulation technology from Skyhook Wireless to find its own location.
The $69 Wireless 700 card will be accompanied by mapping software from CoPilot navigation software for turn-by-turn directions, 2D and 3D maps, and trip optimizations including detours. It will also work with the Loki plug-in to make Firefox and Internet Explorer browsers location-aware, meaning users could geo-tag photos on Flickr, find nearby points of interest, or check weather information customized to their current location. Dell says the technology will initially require Windows XP, with Vista and Windows 7 support to come later.