Typical satnavs for cars or motorbikes are quite boring and serious looking devices. If you ride a cool, classic Vespa you won’t use it because it would ruin your style. But just because you own a slick scooter doesn’t mean you won’t get lost… TomTom decided to explore this niche with its new, great-looking GPS unit designed particularly for scooters.
TomTom Vio is a cute round touchscreen that mounts just below your sideview mirror or on a handlebar. The concept of the device is quite unique. It doesn’t work as a standalone satnav, instead it connects to your smartphone and uses its processing power to calculate the directions and get real-time updates. The maps, however are stored offline on the device itself. Vio is also equipped with its own GPS chip that will make sure you won’t drain a battery of your smartphone.
Vio is all about the design. It’s well-made and stylish. It comes with changeable covers in six colors which means you can match it to your scooter. It features a waterproof touchscreen display and can be used while wearing gloves. In addition to providing turn-by-turn directions, real-time traffic and visual warnings if you’re speeding, Vio also displays information about incoming calls allowing a rider wearing a connected Bluetooth headset to answer or ignore them.
At $200 Vio is not cheap but on the other hand many people are ready to pay a premium for the product that simply looks good. Although the market for PND devices is declining every year due to the ubiquity of smartphones and build-in car navigation, TomTom still sells over 1 mln of these devices a year. It’s clear that the company wants to monetize two decades of R&D in the PND space and although Vio is a niche product it might generate some sales as there are millions of scooters around the world and no dedicated navigation product.