Garmin Hears You

I love the Consumer Electronics Show. Every year, CES rolls out the year's most intriguing new technology. For me, a technophile contributor to our Rule Breakers team, it's pure heaven.

Today, it's Garmin (Nasdaq: GRMN  ) that has me on cloud nine.

At CES, the company introduced two voice-activated global positioning systems. You read that right. These devices are programmed to accept simple navigation commands, such as "Take me to the nearest Italian restaurant."

Cool, huh? I'll say. But I also find it interesting that this is one of many voice-activated services being touted for 2008. Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) executive Robbie Bach told the CES crowd on Sunday that its "Sync" voice-activated entertainment system for vehicles now includes a 911-assist feature. Authorities are notified when an airbag deploys.

So far, only Ford (NYSE: F  ) has adopted Sync. But with the popularity of General Motors' (NYSE: GM  ) OnStar system, it seems only a matter of time before voice-activated services become available from every car manufacturer.

By now, you're probably wondering whether I'm letting my I-heart-tech tendencies get in the way of my investing brain. I won't deny the possibility. But a close study of the history of business reveals something incontrovertible: Technology-driven disruptive change occurs only when one of these things happens:

  1. A massive business problem forces spending. (Y2K.)
  2. A breakthrough creates unparalled consumer convenience. (Digital video recorders.)

Has Garmin just created the next DVR? I'm not entirely sure. But voice-activated systems are about to get a whole lot more functional and, thereby, more attractive for road-weary commuters. Your portfolio has been warned.

Simon says ... check out this related Foolishness:

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (17)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 558017, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/26/2016 12:37:22 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 3 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,169.27 -53.76 -0.30%
S&P 500 2,143.16 -8.17 -0.38%
NASD 5,283.40 -26.43 -0.50%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/25/2016 4:00 PM
GRMN $49.51 Up +0.63 +1.29%
Garmin CAPS Rating: **
F $11.85 Down -0.19 -1.58%
Ford CAPS Rating: ****
GM $31.60 Down -1.38 -4.18%
General Motors CAPS Rating: ***
MSFT $60.99 Down -0.01 -0.02%
Microsoft CAPS Rating: ****
NVT.DL2 $77.97 Down +0.00 +0.00%
Navteq CAPS Rating: ****