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 Post subject: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 7th, 2010, 5:25 pm 
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Released yesterday . Hmmmmm
http://www.adventurekayakmag.com/featur ... doors.html



DeLorme and SPOT Unveil First Handheld GPS with Satellite Communicator

New SPOT Satellite Communicator and Earthmate PN-60w combine GPS navigation with custom messaging and emergency notification

January 6, 2010

Las Vegas, NV - Spot LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. (NASDAQ: GSAT) and a leader in personal satellite communications and DeLorme, the innovation leader in mapping and GPS technologies, today jointly announced the world’s first rugged, handheld GPS and satellite communicator product. The DeLorme Earthmate® PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator will be the first handheld GPS navigation device capable of sending customized text messages even when the user is operating far beyond the range of cellular communications. General product availability is scheduled for Spring 2010, and will be unveiled this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The revolutionary SPOT Satellite Communicator, designed exclusively for the new PN-60w, merges SPOT satellite message functionality and DeLorme state-of-the-art GPS mapping via wireless. Together, this product pairing offers broader messaging capabilities. Users can send freeform text messages using the PN-60w’s keyboard to select individuals or groups from the field even from remote areas world-wide.

Established SPOT technology allows real-time location updates and the ability to summon help in an emergency. Custom messages and waypoints can easily be shared with social networking sites like SPOTadventures.com, Geo-caching.com, Twitter, and Facebook. As an emergency back-up, the SPOT Satellite Communicator has stand-alone capability to send location-based SOS notification to an emergency response center.

“Today’s announcement combines the latest in sophisticated handheld GPS with SPOT satellite communications providing one-of-a-kind, custom messaging and sharing of geo-location information with others in real-time,” said Peter Dalton, President of Spot LLC and CEO of Globalstar Inc. “We are excited to partner with DeLorme in bringing to market a new wireless GPS solution to consumers.”

“For the first time, people will be able to type custom text messages using the Earthmate PN-60w internal keyboard and then transmit wirelessly to the unique DeLorme SPOT Communicator for sending satellite messages around the globe,” said Caleb Mason, DeLorme Vice President.

Users of the PN-60w can easily manage their profile online including custom maps and message history utilizing a fully integrated user interface designed by SPOT. Information can be kept fully private or shared with family and friends using custom tools like SPOT Shared Pages and SPOTadventures.com.

As a stand-alone GPS, the Earthmate PN-60w delivers premium navigation features including a 32-channel GPS chipset, blazing-fast dual-core processor, 3-axis electronic compass, sensitive barometric altimeter, elevation profiles, and GPX file transfers.

At CES, DeLorme also will be announcing new worldwide map data for the PN-60w, including high-resolution color aerial imagery.

SPOT also will be showcasing its SPOT Satellite Messenger product family and satellite-based services at CES including the award-winning SPOT Personal Tracker™ and the new SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™. Learn about new SPOT Assist services, including SPOT Assist Roadside, providing the only satellite-based roadside assistance and SPOT Assist Maritime providing direct access to BoatU.S. Towing services with the push of a button.

Availability
The PN-60w with SPOT Satellite Communicator is scheduled to be available in Spring 2010 at retail locations and online sites specializing in GPS, outdoor recreation and electronics products. They can also be ordered from DeLorme at http://www.delorme.com or by calling 800-561-5105.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 7th, 2010, 6:14 pm 
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Very cool.

I wonder how much thats gonna cost per text. I really like the idea of the text message.

"Come pick me up at.."
"bring coffee to grid.."

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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 7th, 2010, 6:38 pm 
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I feel stupid for not posting prior to this that I am quite sure that satellite based text messaging is not far off.

On the other hand I would not have predicted it to happen for another couple of years.

And on the third hand, to an extent it's already available since Iridium sat phones can already do SMS messaging.

The full press release can be found here:

http://www.delorme.com//about/pressrele ... icator.htm

more details and images here:

http://blog.delorme.com/2010/01/06/delo ... unication/

No pricing info yet but this looks like a real winner but it's still missing the final piece which is to receive incoming messages.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 7th, 2010, 7:50 pm 
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Your right. Being able to receive a weather forecast would be good...however I would be hesitant to have it so my wife could text me...that would get real old real quick!

I'd be happy enough with the one way text.

However two way messaging may be good for another thing as well.
Maybe it will cut out the bull **** rescues that we keep hearing about. Maybe a text message of "my sleeping bag is wet I need rescue" will stop the wasted,expensive rescue assets being deployed. maybe they can just respond with a generic "your an idiot" response. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 7th, 2010, 8:32 pm 
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Quote:
However two way messaging may be good for another thing as well.


I know for me it would end any reason to carry a sat phone, I'm pretty much there as it is but two way satellite texting would the the final nail.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 7th, 2010, 9:49 pm 
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I was thinking about Spot, but didn't realize it was a Globalstar product. How is it that the Spot seems to function but the Globalstar phones are next to useless?


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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 7th, 2010, 10:16 pm 
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I am no phone expert but the Globalstar Sat phone does not use the same messaging system that SPOT does.

Sounds like its worth the half hour drive to try one of these out at De Lorme headquarters. and probably faint from the price(unknown). I assume it will be there a little before other retail outlets.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 7th, 2010, 10:31 pm 
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IIRC SPOT is a simplex signal (one way) and it uses another part of the Globalstar sat's circuitry. It hasn't been degrading like the two way part of their system.

Hugh

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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 7th, 2010, 10:46 pm 
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Quote:
probably faint from the price(unknown)


The unit it is replacing (PN40) retails around $350, this new model is more like a Smartphone vs a 10 year old cell phone, I expect it will be quite a bit more money...my guess is a street price close to $600, maybe a bit more right at the start.

I'd never looked at Delorme GPS units before, the reviews at REI sound quite good for the PN40.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 8th, 2010, 4:41 pm 
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I've read many favourable USA reviews of the Delorme GPS but in the end I gave up my interest in them as they did not have mapping software nor very up to date maps for Canada and their support replied that they had no plans in the near future to update (pay attention to) Canada mapping. Something to check out should you get one for use in Canada and you find the installed maps lacking.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 8th, 2010, 10:17 pm 
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THIS report gas the PN-60w going for $450US, $550 with the communicator.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 9th, 2010, 9:13 pm 
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DeLorme pn-60w/SPOT is planned for release in May; MSRP US549.95. Company will push navionics-compatible map library subscription for US29.95 annually (1:24,000 USGS & 1:50,000 Canada topos); Topo USA map data is included.

Globalstar uses low-orbiting propriatory constellation of satellites to handle SPOT transmissions, completely different from technology used to facilitate sat phone voice transmissions. The small footprint of SPOT messages helps, too. This technology has been around for quite some time, and it was originally developed to track containers on the oceanic vessels.


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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 9th, 2010, 10:01 pm 
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Quote:
DeLorme pn-60w/SPOT is planned for release in May; MSRP US549.95. Company will push navionics-compatible map library subscription for US29.95 annually (1:24,000 USGS & 1:50,000 Canada topos); Topo USA map data is included.


I guess they didn't mention the additional SPOT subscription fees. In any event I may hold out for two-way texting although I must say that one way texting that is free form might be enough.

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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 14th, 2010, 2:52 pm 
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Stupid question: Does this mean that Ibycus maps or Topo Canada v2 (as shown in MapSource) are incompatible with DeLorme GPS?


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 Post subject: Re: Is this THE techno SPOT with a GPS and text message capable?
PostPosted: January 15th, 2010, 4:42 pm 
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I don't know the answer to Wolverine's question, but my understanding is that the Delorme units are only compatible with Delorme's mapping software.  It may be possible to import maps from other formats through their Xmap software, but that does not come packaged with the GPS unit as the Topo software does.I have the Delorme PN 40, which can only communicate via cable.  It's a great device, in large part because the $30/year subscription to the Delorme online map server gives you unlimited access to USGS topo maps, aerial photos, satellite photos, and NOAA marine charts that cover the entire US.  These can be downloaded into the TOPO software, and in the software you can "cut" maps for the areas you will be in.  For kayaking, for example, I will download aerial photos (which give a lot of information on ledge locations, vegetation on islands, development) and the NOAA harbor chart for the area.  I then put both onto the SD card in the handheld GPS, and can toggle back and forth between the marine chart and an aerial photo.  While underway, I can track points or routes, and add them to the maps on my computer when I get home.If--and this is a big if--Delorme is committing to provide similar map, satellite, and aerial photo data for Canada, this would be a great device for use on your side of the border.  The last time I checked, those products were not available for Canada, but it sounds like Delorme may be stepping up on this.My experience with their customer support has been excellent, and I am very happy with my purchase.  The Topo software is not intuitive to use, however, and you should expect a steep learning curve when you are getting started.  Delorme hosts an online forum that is very useful for this, and, if you are like me, you'll need that support.


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