At the 2007 Consumer Electronics Show, Escort provided a preview of their new model: the Escort Passport 9500i. The primary new feature of the 9500i is a built in GPS locator, which will help reduce false alerts and can potentially help alert you to stationary speed or red light cameras. This new model will sell for $449.95 and is expected to be available in March or April.
By taking advantage of the built-in GPS, the 9500i will let you mark the location of a false alert, such as a supermarket that always sets off your detector. Future trips by this location would not produce an alert if the frequency matches the one that you marked. This new Passport detector also allows you to mark locations where you would like to receive an alert. A perfect candidate for this would be a speed or red light camera. The 9500i is capable of storing around 5000 locations, but will not come pre-loaded with a camera database. Escort has not announced any plans to create or offer a database of camera locations.
The GPS also allows the detector to know the current speed of the vehicle. In "Auto" sensitivity mode, the 9500i will use this speed to help set the sensitivity level. At low speeds, the sensitivity will be automatically reduced to eliminate false alerts. The vehicle speed will also be displayed during alerts.
Performance/range for radar and laser on the 9500i will be the same as with the current Escort 8500 X50. The detection technology is identical to that of current models.
This model can also automatically adjust the volume level automatically. A microphone is built into the 9500i to detect the ambient noise level. If noise is present in the vehicle, the volume will be increased to get your attention.
A USB port is available on the right side of the unit. On other types of devices, such as digital cameras or MP3 players, USB ports allow you to connect the devices to a computer and transfer data back and forth. According to Escort, however, the only purpose this port will serve initially is to allow the factory to move your marked locations from one unit to another if you send it in for service. Escort would not divulge any of their future plans, but it seems logical that at some point they would develop their own camera database, or provide the ability for users to share and upload coordinates to the detector.
I was not able to get the exact dimensions of the 9500i, but it looks almost identical in size to the 8500 X50. The display color will be red, there will not be a blue option, as with the X50.
UPDATE (1/6/2012): This article previously referred to the original Escort Passport 8500 X50. This model has now been updated and replaced with the Escort Passport 8500 X50 Black.
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