New portable navigation devices offer greater guidance Clarion's latest portable navigation units are the first to map buildings, landmarks and elevation changes in 3D, and combined with comprehensive lane information and turn-by-turn voice prompts (text to speech), deliver the clearest, most convenient route advice yet.

The MAP780 (Europe) and MAP680 (UK & Ireland) use two separate high-performance programmes to draw buildings in the foreground and background. Buildings close to the driver appear see-through as you approach them, so as not to obstruct the view of the next junction, whilst buildings further away are textured and solid, making them lifelike and easily recognisable as reference points while driving.

Both PND's utilise digital elevation model data to draw height and depth features, with hills and mountains rendered in 3D while you drive, to create the most realistic view, at all levels of zoom. Elevation information is also applied to the road network for rendering of shadows, to display roads and bridges at their correct height for a greater clarity of route guidance.

Clarion has also incorporated comprehensive lane information for the first time, with all lanes available rendered in 3D, and the one needed highlighted, for a more intuitive navigation experience.

In another first, thanks to Bluetooth technology, Clarion's latest portable navigation devices also display SMS (text) messages on-screen, as well giving seamless touch-screen access to a paired phone or PDA, whilst audio streaming (A2DP) and MP3/WMA playback is also possible via a built-in music player.

Enhanced entertainment features on the 2008 PND also feature a movie player, allowing users to download up to 4GB of MP4 video via MMC or SD card, whilst a digital photo album allows the user to upload pictures via SD card or the built-in USB port.

The MAP780 and MAP680 are priced at £269 and £229 respectively, and are available via Clarion appointed dealers across the UK.