Navigation Technologies, a provider of digital map data for in-vehicle, Internet/wireless, government and business solutions, on Nov. 11 announced the acquisition of its 100th U.S. patent. "This achievement reflects Navigation Technologies' focus on developing innovative technology and processes that improve the quality and efficiency of NAVTECH(R) Maps for customers and end users," the company said in a prepared statement.Navigation Technologies said its patent program encourages development of technology innovations to support the growing navigation industry. The company's patents cover a wide variety of categories including data collectionmethods and tools, data organization, data management and distribution, uses of map and related data, vehicle positioning, and other navigation functions and navigation system features.The 100th patent protects a process that improves vehicle positioning and, ultimately, navigation system users' experience, according to the company.Some of Navigation Technologies' patented technologies include:A "data glove" used by Navigation Technologies' field analysts, driving the roads collecting and inputting map data into the digital database. The data glove captures the field analyst's hand or finger gestures and facilitates collection of data by allowing the field analyst to observe road features and simultaneously input data.A data format that alerts drivers of nearby points of interest. This invention would allow a navigation system user to identify a point of interest such as hotel or restaurant, for example, and be notified once he or she is within a certain distance of that location.A data format that allows the exchange of route information between navigation systems. For example, a navigation system user could create a route from Chicago's O'Hare airport to hotel in the city. Once created, the route could be sent wirelessly to other navigation systems and utilized by those drivers.
"The recently rapid growth of our patent portfolio directly reflects the capabilities of our innovative and highly skilled workforce," said Navigation Technologies' M. Salahuddin Khan, chief technology officer. "We are dedicated to creating new and better processes and technology in order to improve the accuracy and utility of our database and its role in promoting the overall growth of navigation, advanced driver assistance systems, GIS andlocation-based services. We are also especially pleased to be passing the milestone of our 100th granted patent."About Navigation TechnologiesNavigation Technologies creates the digital maps that power navigation and location-based services around the world.The Chicago-based company was founded in 1985 and is privately held. The company's approximately 1,300 employees are in more than 100 offices in 17 countries.For more information, visit www.navtech.com.