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Old 06-08-2011, 09:36 AM   #1
Slappy McGee OP
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New DeLorme inReach - Looks like a sweet competitor for SPOT Connect

I've been thinking about a SPOT connect, but recently saw this announcment from DeLorme:

http://blog.delorme.com/2011/06/03/d...communication/

It essentially combines a regular SPOT and the connect, and allows two-way communication. Hope they make a version for iOS as this looks like it'd be ideal for MC travel and backwoods adventure, esp. since the emergency responders can actually communicate with you.
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Old 06-08-2011, 10:51 AM   #2
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I'll be pleasantly surprised if there is an iOS app for Delorme's InReach. I would expect that the InReach requires Bluetooth Serial Port Profile to communicate bi-directionaly. iOS doesn't support SPP.

If they do manage to make an iOS app that would be very interesting.

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Old 06-09-2011, 03:51 AM   #3
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The inReach can be used by itself, with the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w GPS, or with smartphones running the Android OS!
Don't hold your breath on the iOS.

And maybe this is DeLorme's way of finally getting something to market. Since they are using Iridium's system, maybe this will work.
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Old 06-09-2011, 11:43 AM   #4
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OK, no breath holding here. Apple is unlikely to every support SPP just like they most likely will not support external USB Storage.

I understand why, but the InReach "satellite two-way pager" is getting kind of large and at the projected prices (unit+plan) a Sat phone doesn't look that expensive.

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Old 06-18-2011, 07:34 PM   #5
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This is a neat idea. I wonder if we can cut Delorme out of the middle and build an iridium radio cheap and rely on the phone for all of the other computing needs? You'd need to have a contract with the iridium people of course, but I suspect the crystal set is pretty cheap without their value added malarkey. I assume this radio network is slow like Spot and just a low power radio at the correct frequency. More research is needed...
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by craftycoder View Post
I wonder if we can cut Delorme out of the middle and build an iridium radio cheap and rely on the phone for all of the other computing needs?
Iridium offers a satellite data transceiver module for integrating into custom devices. It's several hundred dollars as I recall. It's a serious challenger to the similar Globalstar (SPOT) module. I'm comparing them to decide which to include in a device I'm developing. Eventually I'd like to add an android app, not unlike what you've created, to add some additional features.

Here's the Iridum module:


And the similar Globalstar (SPOT) module:
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Old 06-18-2011, 10:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craftycoder View Post
....I wonder if we can cut Delorme out of the middle and build an iridium radio cheap and rely on the phone for all of the other computing needs.....?
Quote:
Originally Posted by HogWild View Post
....... I'm comparing them to decide which to include in a device I'm developing. Eventually I'd like to add an android app, not unlike what you've created, to add some additional features.

In.
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I used to say "one day" a lot. But then I got scared I would wait one day too long. So I am doing it all now
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Old 06-19-2011, 03:53 AM   #8
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Just to throw in my 2c as an iOS developer... their bluetooth API is closely limited in features (keyboards, audio out/in, call control, music control, communication with other iPhones and 3G tethering). I think it's jumping to conclusions to say they don't want to support other features, more likely they just can't be bothered as the bluetooth specification is a complete disaster. Chances are they will implement more of the spec one day.

SPP is likely to be pretty high on the list of things they might add, since they already do something similar over USB. Though I'd put my money on developing a more modern protocol, instead of choosing an existing standard based on a protocol developed in 1962.

For larger companies like DeLorme I bet Apple would be willing to work closely with them. The thing can track your footsteps if you wear specific Nike shoes... That's a lot less useful than satellite communication.

You can do anything you want communicating with custom hardware over USB, using the dock connector. Plain old simple arbitrary data transfer between your software running on the phone, and whatever hardware you build. Your hardware can even instruct a specific app to launch whenever you plug it in. So it's entirely possible for Delorme or anyone else to do whatever they want via that route.

For example TomTom has a car kit with it's own GPS receiver that's too bulky/power hungry to build into a phone, as well as a bigger speaker to improve turn-by-turn directions, phone calls, etc.

If I knew a bit more about hardware, i'd love to create a mount which charges my phone and hooks into the bike's ECU to record diagnostic info into a gpx file, which could be used to overlay speed/rpm/throttle position/temperature/etc onto a helmet cam video...

abhibeckert screwed with this post 06-19-2011 at 04:22 AM
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Old 06-19-2011, 05:46 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by HogWild View Post
Here's the Iridum module:
And the similar Globalstar (SPOT) module:
The iridium module seems impossible to get in the US, at least if you believe their website. I sent off an email to Globalstar sales and hopefully they will get back to me soon. If you are correct and the price is several hundred bucks for the modules then it's a nonstarter for me but if it's priced similarly to a GPS module in the $50-100 region I can see it being worth while. At several hundred bucks I'd need to discount the hardware and make up that money on a monthly subscription. That would require bookkeeping... yuck!
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Old 06-19-2011, 08:37 PM   #10
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Here's the Iridium module for sale in USA for as low as $350ea (qty 10):
http://www.satrunner.com/en/iridium-9602-sbd-modem.html
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Old 06-20-2011, 05:36 AM   #11
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Here's the Iridium module for sale in USA for as low as $350ea (qty 10):
http://www.satrunner.com/en/iridium-9602-sbd-modem.html
If I were the satellite operators, I think I would follow the strategy of the mobile telephone operators and discount the radios in hopes of getting a lot of customers paying monthly fees. It seems these guys want to make their money selling radios and not the service.
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:34 AM   #12
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If I were the satellite operators, I think I would follow the strategy of the mobile telephone operators and discount the radios in hopes of getting a lot of customers paying monthly fees. It seems these guys want to make their money selling radios and not the service.
I would think their target audience would be more interested in long term savings, than being able to by the cool toy AND pay rent. If I had the need and the means, I'd gladly pay the larger 1time for the smaller recurring. Otherwise, you have phone plans, that cost 100$ a month for what ultimately costs 20$ a month or less in overhead.

If they really wanted to break into the market, vendors make it more accessible to the masses, but that will ultimately drive pricing down and let everyone have a sat phone. I don't see the market asking for that just yet.

Just using round numbers, and IMO and all that.
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Old 07-08-2011, 05:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beechum1 View Post
I would think their target audience would be more interested in long term savings, than being able to by the cool toy AND pay rent. If I had the need and the means, I'd gladly pay the larger 1time for the smaller recurring. Otherwise, you have phone plans, that cost 100$ a month for what ultimately costs 20$ a month or less in overhead.

If they really wanted to break into the market, vendors make it more accessible to the masses, but that will ultimately drive pricing down and let everyone have a sat phone. I don't see the market asking for that just yet.

Just using round numbers, and IMO and all that.
I just got my SPOT device and it was part of a recall from last year. WTF!??!? Then I started reading more reviews on the SPOT device and it is getting panned.

I returned it and will wait for the DeLorme device even if it is more expensive. I have an existing heart issue which is why I want the device when I travel out of cell phone range. I can't mess around with 'I hope it works'.
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Old 07-13-2011, 08:46 AM   #14
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Here is some more info:

http://www.gpsworld.com/consumer-oem...tor-fall-11814

SRP @ $250, and ~$10/mo. seems pretty reasonable to me if it works well enough..
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Old 07-14-2011, 10:44 PM   #15
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I disagree with the subscription fee comments.

While I'd like to have a Spot, the subscription fee turns me away. I take 3 or 4 long motorcycle trips per year. Say 10 days each. Paying for 12 months of subscription when I only need it for 4 grates on me.

So I don't buy these things and wait for something reasonable to come along.
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