Delorme’s satellite communicator, the lowest cost bidirectional communication and tracking device in the market, has just upped its offering by launching the inReach SE.
Like the previous inReach 1.5, the inReach SE is a fully bidirectional communication device that can send and receive SMS and short emails anywhere in the world, at high seas as well as at the remotest locations of the globe. Both models interface with any iPhone or Android via an app which then lets the user access his mobile’s address book and compose SMS or email just as if he was using his phone wherever there is mobile coverage, which is only about 10% of the earth. Now the user has the freedom to communicate globally at one fixed rate, no roaming involved.
In addition, the units come with global maps within the app, not requiring mobile connection to use them. A key feature is also tracking via the user’s proprietary web portal. Users can give a link to friends, family or the office, and be continuously trackable online.
But where does this fit into eMarketing? Well, now there is an inexpensive tool available which can be used by expeditions or regattas in order to keep their audience up to date by following the progress live via the internet, no matter how remote the location. The inReach even comes with an option to automatically post messages on Facebook or Twitter, making it the perfect marketing device for every expedition or adventure.
But it also acts as a safety device: with its SOS button, it activates continuous tracking via GEOS, a US based emergency command centre, which then immediately informs pre-defined emergency contacts, as well as the local authorities, constantly informing of the location of the user until he is saved.
An example of such usage was the “Neptune Regatta 2013: Race to the Equator” in February that started in Singapore, where all 35 participating vessels’ progress could be tracked online, as well as being communicated with via the individual webpage or SMS. Even the SOS feature came to use twice during a storm, guaranteeing quick assistance.
The big difference between the two devices it that the new SE also features a touch screen key pad, which enables you to send customized messages even if the phone is broken or not available, whereas the older inReach 1.5 only comes with 3 pre-programmed messages, which can be sent in case of emergency. Therefore, the inReach 1.5 has a more rugged looking body and it even floats by itself, in addition to both being water proof.
The uses of this device are obviously endless. From being able to sleep well if your teenagers go on their first international vacation alone, to having back-up communications when exploring the region at high seas, all the way to vehicle or ship fleet management as well as private plane tracking. At a cost starting of SGD 449 to SGD 529, and monthly plans starting around SGD 25 it is for sure the most cost effective solution in the market.
It doesn‘t come as a surprise that inReach has won numerous innovation awards in the US and Europe from Backpacker Magazine to National Geographic last year. The new inReach SE version even was sold out before the US launch for over a month.Obviously, if you are looking for a full voice communication satellite device, then this is not for you. But the tracking and SOS features sure are an added bonus to the communication capability, as well as it being rugged and water-proof, which most sat phones aren’t. So, if you are really out of mobile range frequently, it‘s value even then lies in doubling as a safety back-up communication option with added life saving features
The Delorme inReach SE is just being launched this month in Asia, with the first units available now. They are distributed to the region based out of Singapore by the exclusive distributor La Marca Marine Pte. Ltd. Find out more about at www.inreach.asia.
By Augustine Hong