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Device and Wireless Data Service
SUNNYVALE, Calif., Nov. 8, 1999 -- Trimble (NASDAQ:TRMB) announced today that the company has provided the Global Positioning System (GPS) technology for Seiko Epson's Location communication device and i-Point wireless data service in Japan. This alliance is part of the company's continuing efforts to work with strategic partners to deliver GPS to high-volume markets.
Subscribers to the i-Point network service, which was launched in June 1999, use Seiko Epson's new Locatio mobile communication device. Locatio is the world's first combination PDA, wireless phone, personal navigator and digital camera.
Locatio is the first consumer implementation of Trimble's new GPS architecture specifically developed for power-sensitive portable devices. The architecture, targeted at high-volume applications, is anticipated to be unveiled in the coming months.
Seiko Epson's Locatio is a multi-media, mobile terminal equipped with Trimble GPS and PHS (Personal Handyphone System) technology. Locatio features an organizer, internal web browser and a built-in digital camera with a full color display. Locatio runs on Seiko Epson's i-Point network, which provides applications and location-oriented content. The i-Point network can be accessed using Locatio's web browser.
In addition to providing the GPS technology in the Locatio subscriber unit, Trimble server technology is embedded into the network infrastructure to improve accuracy of the user position as well as initial GPS signal acquisition time. Seiko Epson's i-Point also uses a Japan-wide network of Trimble differential reference stations.
The Locatio and i-Point services enable customers to:
Find their location on a map and navigate by using Locatio's real-time GPS functionality. In underground malls or inside buildings where it is difficult to receive GPS signals, the customers can know their approximate location through the use of PHS base-station location information, which is typically accurate from 10 to 100 meters.
Download maps of any section of Japan quickly.
Communicate with and locate other i-Point subscribers in real time.
Locate restaurants, hotels, and sightseeing spots through Seiko Epson's new "Point of Interest" (POI) content delivery service.
Send or receive location information by attaching the data in an e-mail. Pictures taken with Locatio's built-in camera can also be tagged with location information and included in e-mail.
Seiko Epson's i-Point network infrastructure became operational in June 1999 and the company plans to sign up 500,000 i-Point subscribers in the first year of operation. Additional information in Japanese can be found at http://www.i-love-epson.co.jp/locatio/
"It has been exciting to work with Seiko Epson. Locatio is by far the most innovative consumer device that uses communications, GPS and the internet," said Dennis Workman, Trimble's vice president of Component Technologies. "The internet and GPS are key technologies for information appliances. GPS not only provides location, but it filters geographic data to capture location information that is relevant to the user. We believe that the demand for information services, such as those utilized by the Locatio, will contribute to the overall growth of the emerging wireless market. Trimble is committed to be a major supplier to the market for location-aware products."
About Seiko Epson
Seiko Epson Corporation started its operation in 1942 as a manufacturer of SEIKO watches. Since then, the company's operations have expanded to encompass the entire range of information-related equipment, including the development, manufacture, and sale of Epson printers, personal computers, electronic devices and components such as semiconductors, liquid crystal displays, and quartz devices. The Epson group takes at heart its management philosophy of maintaining its worldwide reputation as a reliable and respectable company. Presently, Seiko Epson Corporation has 59 affiliates and representative offices in 29 countries, and the number of employees of the entire group reaches 42,500. Additional information is available on the World Wide Web at www.epson.co.jp
Trimble is a world leader in designing and developing innovative products enabled by GPS technology. The company provides end-user and OEM solutions for diverse applications including surveying, mapping/GIS, agriculture, construction, mining, military, commercial aviation, automotive, vehicle tracking and timing. Founded in 1978, Trimble now holds more than 250 U.S. patents on GPS and related technology, with over 200 additional patents pending. Located in Sunnyvale, Calif., Trimble has been adding value to GPS since 1984.
Media Contact: LeaAnn McNabb of Trimble: 408-481-7808
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current expectations that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Other potential risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events to differ materially are included in the SEC filings, including Form 10-K and Form 10-Q for Trimble.