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The Sextant Killer Turns 25

On June 2, MiTAC Digital Corporation of Santa Clara, makers of Magellan GPS units, celebrated the 25th anniversary of the NAV 1000, the first commercially available handheld GPS. Powered by six AA alkaline batteries, the 8.75 x 3.5 x 2.25 inch device would come up with a very accurate latitude and longitude in about four minutes. Unlike sextants, the handheld GPS wasn’t rendered useless by fog. The NAV 1000, celebrated as one of the 100 "most influential" or "world changing" gadgets by the likes of Time magazine and Popular Mechanics, is now on display at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

By today’s standards the Nav 1000 looks big and clunky. But it was a technological marvel 25 years ago.

© 2014 Magellan
We have two questions for you: 1) How much did the NAV 1000 cost back then? and 2) Is anybody still using theirs? Email responses here.

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