adNav Boomerage is an almost-free GPS unit, with a catch

We've seen quite the variety of GPS devices around these parts, and the all have one common element — a triple-digit price tag. And why dump a few hundred into a GPS unit when traditional maps are practically free? GPS manufacturer adNav agrees and has brought an interesting idea to the table — ad-subsidized gadgets, more specifically GPS units.

The idea is to more or less "rent" an adNav Boomerang for little to nothing from car rental agencies, hotels, etc. The catch is the advertising that comes bundled into the software. This generation has grown accustom to bypassing ads with the help of DVR's, adblockers and more, but a GPS unit suggesting a local restaurant based on a sponsorship rather than a real recommendation might raise a red flag. Regardless of the type of sponsorship, you are getting an extremely helpful gadget for cheap, or even free, which may outweigh the type of advertising one would have to endure while using.

This kind of a device does bring up more questions — is ad-subsidized gadgets the next big thing for consumer electronics? Would you be willing to save a chunk of change on your MP3 players and other goodies if they had a small banner ad or two? Leave a comment and let us know.

adNav, via Engadget