DeLorme inReach: Question and Answer…

June 7, 2011

We’ve had a great response to our blog post announcing the DeLorme inReach. I’ve been trying to answer all the questions in the comments area but thought I’d organize those responses so that readers don’t need to sort through such a long list of exchanges. Thank you all for your questions, please read through the information in this follow-up post and feel free to comment with any additional questions you might have!

Sales related information…

  • The inReach is scheduled for release to retail in October, selling for around $250.
  • There will be three tracking and messaging plans starting with the Safety Plan for $9.95 per month. Additional Recreation and Pro plans increase in price and deliver larger volumes of tracking and messaging units.
  • All plans require a one year contract. Users will be able to move between the plans to accommodate changes in use. Recreation Plan users in the summer could drop back to the Safety Plan in the winter to reduce their monthly subscription fee.
  • “Pay as you go” options are available for users that prefer the low monthly cost of the Safety Plan and the ability to pay for any tracking or messaging units that go over the monthly allocation for the Safety Plan.
  • I will not be able to share more details on plan pricing or tracking and messaging units until all of the billing details have been finalized. As soon as they are square I’ll share them here.

Physical attributes of the device…

  • Device dimensions are as follows: height: 3.36 inches not including antenna, 4.78 inches including antenna, width: 2.85 inches, depth: 1.73 inches.
  • The device meets IPX7 waterproofing standards and it floats. It will have a lanyard attachment point just in case you try to drop it overboard.
  • The SOS locking mechanism was designed to comply with the RTCM SC-128 standard for SENDs supporting one handed, gloved operation.
  • We are supporting alkaline, lithium, and NiMH AA batteries although we recommend the Energizer eLithium batteries for longest performance.
  • Additional battery testing is underway but early results have shown the ability to send messages for up to seven days, very good results for search and rescue.
  • The inReach has been designed for optional battery pack and external power configurations should the market show interest in that kind of accessory.

Device interaction…

  • The inReach will report speed, heading, and elevation with each track or message that it transmits allowing message recipients and website viewers to learn more about users’ movements then just what is described in the message text.
  • inReach users will be able to send/receive messages to/from other inReach users anywhere in the world. Send a message telling your hunting partner that it’s time to head home even when you are many miles away from each other.
  • Tracking intervals can go as high as a message every 2 minutes and as low as a message every 4 hours.

Operating system support…

  • Initial hardware and software development has been for the PN-60w and Android operating systems however we are very interested in other platforms like iOS, Windows Phone 7, and Blackberry.
  • DeLorme has not taken an anti-Apple position, being a smaller company we’ve needed to focus our development efforts on a single platform for our initial release.
  • We are capturing all of the feedback from users commenting on this blog and in our forums to build the business cases for where we will go from here.

Android application details…

  • The Android application will be available for free through the Google Marketplace.
  • Users who purchase the inReach device will receive the current DeLorme Topographic maps for free.
  • Android application downloaders will be able to purchase the DeLorme Topographic download by region at a low cost and get the same high detail data used on the DeLorme Earthmate PN-series devices.
  • We are working to bring the same additional map types found in our DeLorme Map Library to the Android application, stay tuned for more details as that effort progresses.
  • We also hope to bring the DeLorme world map and world aerial imagery to the Android application as they are currently available on the PN-series devices.

PN-60w details…

  • The Earthmate PN-60w will support the inReach device allowing two-way communications in addition to all the standard PN-series features.

     

  • A firmware update supporting the new inReach functionality will be made available at the time of the inReach launch.

DeLorme inReach news and other announcements…

  • Updates about the inReach product will appear on the DeLorme Blog as we move through the development cycle and approach our release date.
  • Subscribe to the DeLorme Blog or DeLorme Twitter feed to get notifications when new information is made available.

Again, thank you all for your great feedback on the new DeLorme inReach. We’ll be processing all the comments and incorporating your ideas into the final product as we work our way through the development process. Stay tuned for more details as the project unfolds!

Chip Noble
UI Design
DeLorme


DeLorme inReach—two-way satellite communication

June 3, 2011

UPDATE 6/7/2011: See DeLorme inReach: Question and Answer… for comment response summary and updated details.

After a long winter of forced silence I’ve finally been given the nod to share a sneak peek at our latest development efforts here at DeLorme. We’re very excited about our new partnership with Iridium and we’re even more excited to announce the DeLorme® inReach™! We’ll be bringing this unique two-way satellite GPS communicator to market later this year.

The DeLorme inReach continues our effort to keep people connected when they travel outside of cell phone range. With the inReach, you can send AND RECEIVE text messages with true pole-to-pole global coverage. The inReach can be used by itself, with the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w GPS, or with smartphones running the Android OS!

One of the invaluable features of the DeLorme inReach is the ability to receive emergency SOS and message delivery confirmation while on your adventure. This removes the need to send the same message multiple times and gives immediate feedback that your communication made it through. Emergency response services will even be able to notify you that help is on the way.

When using the device as a standalone, you will be able to send tracking locations as well as three different messages you’ve created ahead of time. SOS messages can be sent to search and rescue and they’ll be able to respond by triggering a change in the SOS LED on the inReach device to let you know that they heard you and are taking action.

Pairing the DeLorme inReach with either a PN-60w or an Android device allows you to type up to 160 characters and send your message to friends and family using either e-mail or SMS text message addresses. Don’t worry about building your contact list ahead of time anymore, you can send messages to new addresses right in the field. Communicate important information, change your plans, or just check in to let everyone know that you are okay. Send your message to Twitter and Facebook or a shared map to let them watch your progress and send you a message.

 

The DeLorme inReach has a customizable tracking interval that can be set before you leave if you’re using the device as a standalone or set with the PN-60w or Android application while you are in the field. Set the interval to report every two minutes if you want to share more detail or reduce it to update once an hour if you’re sharing less detail.

Along with the satellite messaging capabilities, both the PN-60w and the inReach Android app will continue to deliver the same top-quality DeLorme Topographic mapping data with roads and trails, detailed contour and land cover information, points of interest and the DeLorme Atlas & Gazetteer descriptions. We are also working to make the DeLorme Map Library available through the Android application allowing users to view aerial imagery, USGS quad sheets, Canadian topographic maps, and NOAA nautical charts, all available when beyond cell phone coverage.

  

The DeLorme inReach will require a subscription to access the tracking, messaging, and SOS features. Current plans are to offer three levels: Safety, Recreation, and Pro, with prices starting at $9.95 per month for the safety plan and increasing to offer more in-plan message and tracking units. Plan options will include the ability to move between plan level, if, for example, you find yourself very active in the summer months but only needing safety features during the winter months.

A quick recap in case you only looked at the pictures:

  • inReach – A new two-way communicator that works with the PN-60w or an Android OS device.
  • Send and receive text messages outside of cell phone range with friends, family, Facebook/Twitter, or emergency services.
  • Tracking lets friends and family watch you in real time on a map back home.
  • The DeLorme Map Library with topographic, aerial, nautical, and more – all can be downloaded (from within data range) for use outside of cell phone data coverage.
  • The messaging plans start at $9.95/month and can be adjusted between levels.

I was able to send my first messages this week so be sure to keep an eye on the DeLorme blog for more details as we move through the development process. There will be opportunities to see the device in action at trade shows and events this summer so stay tuned for those announcements as well. In the meantime, feel free to post questions here, I’ll be updating with new information and would love to hear your thoughts on this exciting new DeLorme product!

Chip Noble
UI Design


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