Growing up, we had a Kirby vacuum cleaner. I remember mum paid a ridiculous price for it, which the salesman justified because it “would never die.” This heavy, upright contraption would clunk around the house sucking up straight lines of dirt and dust, no matter how rough we were or how many times it was dropped down the stairs (“accidently” or not). It might have needed a tune up here and there, but as the salesman promised, all through my childhood and teens, this monstrosity refused to die.
It was quite opposite to when I took my six-year-old laptop to be fixed because its screen was not working. I was told that they stopped making the parts for my computer, so I had to use a second-hand graphic card, which was still one generation ahead of my laptop. Now I can’t connect my laptop to a TV screen (no more Netflix on TV for me) and my screen has random epileptic fits.
Feeling indignant about why things don’t they make things to last these days, I had a chat with Navman’s technical team about this very topic. They reminded me that technology has to keep improving because we expect things to keep evolving: to work better, faster and offer more features to make life more convenient. For instance, it’s hard to imagine a Navman device without safety alerts yet when was introduced in 2005, it was a chimed warning. Now not only is it a spoken alert, warning drivers “school zone ahead”, it’s also timed so it will only alert when the school zone is active.
New features are being added with every new range, and devices are being improved every year with processors that work faster and better (remember the frustration when you missed a turn and the GPS would take ages to calculate an alternative route?). Quite literally a GPS from 2014 is very different in parts as well as abilities to one from today’s product range.
Unlike vacuum cleaners, items like laptops, GPSs and dash cams need both hardware and software to run. Not only are there problems when you have to fix a part, like with my laptop, older devices do not use the same or compatible software that is being built for today’s models. A classic example is map updates for Navmans. Software for maps, like hardware for devices, evolve so they can be compatible with the latest range. New maps now have miles more information compared to years ago. With more information, more data and new software to match, there comes a time when it is not technically possible to fit a new bigger map into an older model with a small operating system, so map updates become impossible for Navman devices past a certain age.
If you have an old Navman where this is the case, check out Navman’s website for some fantastic trade-in deals. Every Navman device now comes loaded with so many premium features as standard, which in the past were only in the top of the range model. Maps are also richer with more and more information, updated all the time. There are new roads, school zones, safety red light and speed cameras being changed all the time and Navman’s maps keep track of that with every update.
I visited mum recently and in the laundry cupboard, what do I find? Yes, the dreaded Kirby – and yes it does work even though it has long retired thanks to the young, strappy, light and efficient new Dyson. So take it from me – if a salesman ever tells you a product will never die – that’s not always a good thing.