DeLorme, the innovation leader in navigation technology, today announced the Fall 2011 release of the DeLorme inReach, the first Iridium-based personal communicator to deliver truly global two-way satellite text messaging; delivery confirmations; SOS capabilities; remote tracking, and an Android smartphone interface.
The inReach promises to revolutionize the way people stay affordably connected over the 90 percent of the Earth's surface not covered by cellular and land-based phone service. Its capabilities address the needs of anyone from outdoors enthusiasts to professional users in remote outposts.
The core communications component of the inReach is the Iridium 9602 short-burst data (SBD) transceiver, which provides a unique, two-way communications connection through the world's farthest-reaching satellite network. Iridium's pole-to-pole global connectivity means inReach users can send and receive messages anywhere on the planet.
The GPS-enabled inReach can be used by itself or paired with either an Android smartphone or a DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w.
When using the inReach as a standalone device, users can send pre-loaded text messages to designated recipients, and activate remote tracking, allowing others to follow their travels online via a continually-updated "bread crumb" trail. Unlike other standalone satellite messengers, the inReach provides delivery confirmation via flashing LED lights. In case of emergency, an SOS key can be triggered. The SOS key is protected by a "safety" to prevent false alarms.
When paired with an Android or the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w, users enjoy full-featured, two-way text messaging (up to 160 characters per message) to and from email addresses and cell phones. Messages can also be posted to Facebook and Twitter.
In case of emergency, Android or PN-60w users can describe their predicament so responders can better prepare, and an ongoing dialog can be maintained for mutual status updates.
Any SOS message, whether relayed from a standalone or a paired inReach, will automatically activate remote tracking. That allows rescuers to efficiently zero in on the senders, whether they're stationary or on the move. All of the inReach SOS features are aimed at producing better outcomes and eliminating the critical search and rescue problem of false alarms unnecessarily deploying lifesaving assets.
"With Iridium's global, two-way service, we know we have the right provider for the unquestionable reach and reliability that our customers demand," said Jim Skillings, DeLorme vice president for Commercial Products. "DeLorme users range from active families and outdoor enthusiasts to professionals posted in remote locations around the world. What they all have in common is the need for worry-free navigation, communication hardware and services. With the inReach, we meet that need in a way never before possible."
"The DeLorme inReach is a great example of how our ecosystem of partners is extending the reach of Iridium now through Android smartphone technology, delivering the consumer market viable, two-way personal communications with unmatched global connectivity," said Patrick Shay, Iridium vice president for Data Services.
Android users can drive the inReach GPS signal to their phone, improving positional accuracy to within 10 feet and eliminating the significant battery drain that results when a phone's native GPS is engaged. A free application with DeLorme Topo North America® maps will also be available for the Android. Maps can be downloaded to the Android so users won't need to rely on unpredictable cell phone coverage to access the navigation detail. DeLorme Topo North America comes included with the Earthmate PN-60w.
The inReach is compact, lightweight, waterproof, floatable, and impact-resistant, and it can maintain satellite signal lock even in difficult GPS environments. It will be available in October. There are separate models for Android and DeLorme users. Suggested retail price is $249.95. Annual subscription plans begin at $9.95 per month.
For more information, visit www.delorme.com.