When Garmin bought DeLorme two years ago, the GPS pioneer had its eye on the small Maine firm’s InReach satellite communicator.
InReach allowed users to talk, send and receive texts, share data files, and send emergency messages, and it was popular among hikers, boaters, and pilots—all key customers for Kansas-based Garmin.
InReach uses the Iridium satellite network, and subscription prices range from $12 to $80 a month with an annual contract.
The unit also allows satellite tracking of airplanes in flight, and pilots can use text messages to notify people of their arrival times, or changes in plans. The technology also allows access to weather information in remote areas without cellular or Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) coverage.
“The InReach Mini is an invaluable companion no matter where or how far off the grid life takes you,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice president for global consumer sales, in a news release.