When you are in need of emergency aid, you want to know that your request for help got through. Today there is only one sub-$1000 portable satellite tracking and SOS alert system that can let you know that it did. The inReach portable satellite communicator comes with two-way personal text messaging, message delivery confirmation, SOS alerting and remote GPS real-time flight following/ping-me Locating. The inReach device also wirelessly connects with Android and Apple smartphones. The box is compact, (about the size of a portable two-way aviation radio). It’s lightweight, waterproof, floatable, and impact-resistant, and it can maintain satellite signal lock even in difficult GPS environments such as canyons or under trees, the company says.
How does it work? The inReach box operates over the Iridium satellite network, providing high network reliability and low-latency data links anywhere on Earth, (less than 60 second delivery of messages end-to-end). It doesn’t need cell towers to work.
The two-way communication features of inReach allow aircraft pilots to stay connected via text messages and email while flying routes beyond cell phone range. It can be used in stand-alone mode to send pre-loaded text messages, trigger SOS alerts, receive delivery confirmation, and tracking, all from the pushbutton and LED interface, or wirelessly from DeLorme’s Earthmate app on your smartphone or tablet.
The Flight Tracking feature of inReach provides GPS position updates allowing pre-authorized parties to follow the user’s trip via a secure online portal. Users can purchase plans that provide 10-minute tracking or 2-minute tracking (recommended for aviation). In the event of an emergency, the built-in SOS button can be activated to trigger a distress alert with delivery confirmation and it automatically activates the remote GPS tracking feature. Flight tracking assists search-and-rescue personnel who receive the SOS will send a confirmation text–asking if there is an emergency, and the nature of the emergency, so that proper rescue can be provided. This eliminates false SAR activations.
The aviation-grade inReach costs $350. Tracking and texting plans for aviation (2-minute interval tracking and about 6 to 10 hours a month worth of service) starts at $17.95 per month. Lower cost (and higher cost) plans are available.
DeLorme is showcasing inReach in Booth 4066 at EAA AirVenture. inReach devices will be available for purchase through select retailers onsite during the show, or also online.
For more information, visit www.delormeinreach.com.