Garmin Announces First Devices With 2-Way Satellite Messaging
Garmin adds inReach satellite communication technology to two new devices.
Garmin has announced their first devices with inReach satellite communication technology, which was acquired through the purchase of DeLorme in early 2016. The new Garmin inReach SE+ and Explorer+ have Pole-to-Pole global Iridium® satellite coverage for two-way messaging, location tracking and SOS alerting anywhere in the world.
From backcountry treks to international adventures, these new inReach devices provide communication, location sharing, navigation and critical SOS functions for anyone who loves getting away from it all, all while providing peace of mind for friends and family back home.
“Satellite communication is something our customers have been asking for, and we’re pleased to introduce the first Garmin inReach devices following our acquisition of DeLorme last year,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president of worldwide sales.
Using the worldwide coverage of the Iridium satellite network, the inReach SE+ and Explorer+ can send and receive text messages with any cell phone number, email address or another inReach device, so users can be outside of cellular range without compromising their loved ones’ peace of mind. Both devices have an interactive SOS, which triggers an emergency response from GEOS®, the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center. After the SOS is received, inReach users are then able to communicate back and forth with GEOS about the nature of the emergency, and receive confirmation when help is on the way. Users can also set up emergency contacts on their devices that will also be notified in the event of an SOS.
While both models offer identical messaging capabilities, it’s on the GPS navigation side that their differences become apparent. The inReach SE+ uses GPS to provide basic grid navigation and allows you to drop waypoints, mark key locations, track your progress, and follow a breadcrumb trail back to base. The inReach Explorer+ goes a step beyond, providing full-fledged GPS on-map guidance with preloaded TOPO mapping and waypoint routings viewable directly on the unit, and there is no requirement to be paired with a smartphone to see topographic data. Plus, a built-in digital compass, barometric altimeter and accelerometer are included with Explorer+ to help you get and maintain accurate bearings anywhere on or off the beaten path.
Similar to previous DeLorme devices, the inReach SE+ and Explorer+ are compatible with the web-based MapShare portal. With MapShare, the inReach device sends the user’s trip data, such as tracks and waypoint updates at preselected intervals, so friends and family can follow user’s whereabouts, request a location update and exchange messages. Owners of DeLorme inReach devices can also rest assured that the launch of the new Garmin-branded inReach devices will not change any of the previous models’ capabilities.
The inReach SE+ and Explorer+ can further sync to your smartphone with the free Earthmate app for even more compatibility and convenience. With the Earthmate® app, users can access unlimited maps, aerial imagery, U.S. NOAA charts and USGS Quad Sheets. More data, like game management units and parcel information for hunters, is available for purchase. Users can also get optional weather updates and premium weather packages directly to the handheld and the Earthmate app. Additionally, every inReach device comes with free access to a cloud-powered portal so users can plan trips and waypoints, sync and manage their device, store all their tracking data and more.
On a single charge, the inReach SE+ and Explorer+ can get up to 100 hours of battery life in tracking mode and up to 30 days in power saving mode. Rugged and designed to withstand the elements, these devices are impact resistant and have an IPX7 water rating.
To access the Iridium network and communicate with an inReach SE+ or Explorer+, an active satellite subscription is required. Depending on usage level, users can opt for an annual contract package or a flexible month-to-month airtime plan, which allows them to pay for service only when they need it. Annual plans range from $11.95 to $79.95 per month (plus activation fee), and month-to-month plans range from $14.95 to $99.95 per month.
The inReach SE+ and inReach Explorer+ will be available in the first quarter of 2017. The inReach SE+ will have a suggested retail price of $399.99, and the inReach Explorer+ will have a suggested retail price of $449.99. For more information on the inReach SE+ and Explorer+, go to the Garmin website.
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