The Etak Navigator

James Killick, writing on Map Happenings:

Today, I’d like to tell you about the Etak Navigator, a truly revolutionary product and the world’s first practical vehicle navigation system. [...]

Nearly everything about the Etak Navigator had to be conceived from scratch. Most important was the self contained positioning system. Remember that back in 1985 GPS was not available.

Not only was GPS unavailable, neither, of course, was wireless data. Or affordable hard drives. Data for the Etak Navigator was stored on cassette tapes. Tapes offered more storage than floppy disks but it took 6 cassettes just to cover the San Francisco Bay area. And of course Nolan Bushnell was involved. What a story. What a product.

Update: The utterly forgettable 1991 film Nothing But Trouble features several scenes showing the Etak Navigator in action.

Monday, 15 April 2024