The DeLorme inReach 2-Way Satellite Communicator took home the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Innovation Award for Consumer Electronics at the Miami International Boat Show.
The Innovation Awards, organized by NMMA and judged by Boating Writers International (BWI), recognize products that best meet the following criteria — innovative, practicality and cost effectiveness.
For areas without cell phone service — roughly 90 percent of the Earth’s surface — consumers can communicate via the inReach, which DeLorme says is the first consumer-affordable satellite communicator to offer two-way SOS and personal text messaging, delivery confirmation, “follow me” remote GPS tracking and worldwide coverage via the Iridium network.
The two-way text messaging capability is especially crucial in SOS situations. People in distress can describe their situation so search-and-rescue authorities know what assets to deploy.
They can also exchange updates with the response center, including sharing information on subsequent injuries or damage, changing weather conditions and revised responder ETAs.
For friends and family at home, the “follow me” remote tracking feature lets them see the user’s travel progress online at programmable intervals. It also has the capability for family and friends to ping the remote device to determine locations on demand.
For free-form two-way messaging, inReach can be paired with either an Android smartphone or a DeLorme Earthmate PN-60w handheld GPS receiver. It can also be used as a standalone device, allowing pre-programmed messages and SOS alerts to be sent via the device’s pushbutton interface, with confirmation of delivery.
Messages are relayed by inReach to and from Iridium satellites, which make up the world’s furthest reaching communications network. The DeLorme inReach is built around the Iridium 9602 short-burst data transceiver, enabling its global, two-way connectivity.
Since this past Fall, inReach has also received numerous other prestigious accolades including 2011 Popular Science Best of What’s New, 2011 Gear of the Year awards from both Men’s Journal and National Geographic Adventure, and 2012 CES Innovations honors.
The inReach is available for $249.95. For more information, or to find a retailer, go to www.delorme.com.