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Old 08-06-2011, 02:07   #1
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2 Way Satellite Text Messaging System and SOS

This may be the answer to affordable communication and distress signaling during offshore cruising.

It's is very affordable- $250 for the unit and monthly rates of $10+. It allows 2 way satellite text messaging and GPS tracking with built in distress alarm. You can wirelessly tether the unit to your android phone as well for texting (and for communicating with emergency rescues). Please correct me if I'm wrong, but this should replace the EPIRB and those ridiculously expensive satellite phones.

Product Information:
DeLorme inReach

FAQ:
DeLorme inReach: Question and Answer… « The DeLorme Weblog

*I am in no way affiliated with DeLorme, just thought cruisers would find a lot of use it in.
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Old 08-06-2011, 06:32   #2
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Re: 2 Way Satellite Text Messaging System and SOS

That looks great!
If it could download weather files too it would be a ripper!

I love technology.... you sit there and dream about the future... and someone has already been working on it and whacks it in your hand

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Old 08-06-2011, 09:58   #3
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Re: 2 Way Satellite Text Messaging System and SOS

Looks very interesting. If they can hold to their planned price point it should sell well. Although unless you have an Android phone I would not consider it significantly better than a SPOT, since you can only send a few pre-set messages.

I also wonder about its function for sending an SOS message. The information is very vague about that. Are they tied directly into the SAR systems? Or is it like SPOT, where the message goes to a private company that is then supposed to call the appropriate SAR resources on your behalf? They don't say. Unless it is the former, I would not consider it in any way a substitute for a working EPIRB.

Still, great to see this sort of technology becoming available, at a price (planned, at least) that the average consumer can afford.
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Old 22-01-2012, 02:53   #4
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Re: 2 Way Satellite Text Messaging System and SOS

Except what they don't tell you up front is that you have to buy a years subscription (min US$100). If it was a months minimum subscription, surely people would buy it simply because you DON'T have to pay for a whole years subs (like all the other offerings in this market), especially as the very people who might want it are almost certainly only going to need it for a fairly short time, but regularly - like once or twice a year.

And why isn't there an iPhone app - why only nasty android? It seems odd that they have written of the very segment of the market - and a BIG one - that might be interested in (and able to pay for) the inReach - ie the iPhone crowd. We all know that android is the poor mans iPhone (!).

Lastly, @ denverd0n - the advantage over the spot is the 2-way texting. The SPOT is one way only.

MW
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Old 22-01-2012, 15:00   #5
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Re: 2 Way Satellite Text Messaging System and SOS

Quote:
Originally Posted by martinwinlow View Post
Except what they don't tell you up front is that you have to buy a years subscription (min US$100). If it was a months minimum subscription, surely people would buy it simply because you DON'T have to pay for a whole years subs (like all the other offerings in this market), especially as the very people who might want it are almost certainly only going to need it for a fairly short time, but regularly - like once or twice a year.
Kind of normal for a lot of prepaid satellite comm to pay yearly subscription. It still is a viable, cost effective solution.

They did say:

“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.


Quote:
And why isn't there an iPhone app - why only nasty android? It seems odd that they have written of the very segment of the market - and a BIG one - that might be interested in (and able to pay for) the inReach - ie the iPhone crowd. We all know that android is the poor mans iPhone (!).
LOL... my guess is two reasons. One Android is the larger market now, and the expansion is at a higher rate then Iphone. Secondly, maybe they did develop an Iphone app, but because Apple is so restrictive, they choose not to accept Apple's restrictions, or Apple rejected them. Or, maybe they have it in the works. Who knows.
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Old 22-01-2012, 15:29   #6
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Re: 2 Way Satellite Text Messaging System and SOS

Or maybe, the lack of an iPhone that can be used outdoors?

iPhones aren't good in the rain, but there are waterproof Android phones out there. Not many, and the carriers don't want to push them because they'd rather have you use you phone in rain, ruin it, and buy a new one. Yes, really. That's why there are moisture damage dots in all the phones today, so they can say "You got it wet so there's no warranty" instead of gaskets keeping the water out.
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Old 22-01-2012, 17:39   #7
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Devices like this scare me! You have to read the marketing literature carefully.

As I read it they are NOT advertising a rescue device. They are marketing the same way SPOT did, it has an SOS feature. If the device works when you need it, the distress call goes out. In some ultra long distance races they sue a SPOT where entrants are. Mine failed! There was an incident in the Great Lakes where people relied on non-emergency technology as an emergency beacon. If you buy it buy it as a redundant device, not as an emergency beacon.

I don't want to sound like a rant (too late?). But, i would hate to see someone rely on this for a PLB or EPIRB. That is not there role.

Bill
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Old 22-01-2012, 18:38   #8
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Re: 2 Way Satellite Text Messaging System and SOS

Wish I had know about this two months ago, I would have tried one. I currently have a spot tracker on a vessel crossing the Atlantic so I can "see" them. Having some two way communication would have been awesome over the past month
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Old 23-01-2012, 09:11   #9
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Re: 2 Way Satellite Text Messaging System and SOS

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Originally Posted by avb3 View Post
“Pay as you go” options are available
I may have mis-read their blurb but I got the impression you had to take a years subs on the cheapest plan ($100pa) and then PAYG was optional on top of that.

As for the iPhone version, I hope there is one coming as this kit would very handy for all sorts of uses... but not if you have to buy a £400 mobile just to use it.

MW
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Old 23-01-2012, 11:53   #10
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Re: 2 Way Satellite Text Messaging System and SOS

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Originally Posted by martinwinlow View Post
As for the iPhone version, I hope there is one coming as this kit would very handy for all sorts of uses... but not if you have to buy a £400 mobile just to use it.
In this instance, it's not simple for the device manufacturer to make an iPhone app. iOS 5 (for the iPhone 4S, in ~October) was the first iOS that allowed communication with an arbitrary bluetooth device, but it only supports the new low energy bluetooth radios, which is probably not what the satellite messenger uses. So I would not expect an iPhone app for this satellite messenger until they make a new version of the hardware.
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