New Device Lets You Use Your Phone Off-Grid With 10-Mile Range
Beartooth allows you to talk & text with other riders without a cell connection.
You probably already carry a phone when you ride. So do your riding buddies. If only there was a way you could use its functionality to communicate with one another even when you are off the grid riding in remote areas…
Beartooth is a small, portable device that you can slip in a pocket or tank bag. It pairs to your smartphone through a Bluetooth connection and connects to other Beartooth users via radio signals, allowing you to communicate without cell service. Your phone becomes a push-to-talk device, kind of like a walkie talkie. You can communicate via voice with a group, send texts and check your location on offline maps. The Beartooth has a range of up to 5 miles for voice and 10 miles for text messages, and can also be used to charge your phone.
The manufacturer touts the device as a way to stay connected while hiking, skiing or other outdoor activities that take you beyond the limits of cell coverage, or as a way to stay connected when cell networks are crowded.
Because Beartooth turns your phone into something similar to a walkie talkie, you still need your hands to operate your phone, even if you use a headset to feed audio from your phone into your helmet. So you will likely need to stop to send a message or initiate a conversation. However, Beartooth works on 900 MHz ISM band radio frequency that gives it a much longer range than the typical 1-mile range of Bluetooth headsets.
The Beartooth could offer a great way for a group of riders to stay in touch in case of emergencies. If you are stopped waiting for another rider in your group to show up, you could send a message out asking for a status update and check their location on the included offline maps. The missing rider could send their status via text message so that the other riders would know exactly what’s going on and quickly respond if help is needed.
As a way of putting your cell phone to work when there’s no service, the Beartooth has a lot of potential for adventure and dual sport riders. Price is set at $179 per pair for a limited time (a 50% discount for early orders) and there are no contracts or monthly fees. For more information go to beartooth.com