GPS and mapping firm DeLorme has teamed up with SPOT to develop the PN-60w handheld GPS. The PN-60w is the first combination GPS unit / SPOT Satellite communicator on the market. We reviewed SPOT back in 2008, and if you missed that review, SPOT is a GPS enabled satellite communicator designed to transmit your position and relay messages.
The SPOT system has evolved since then, with the most notable difference being a smaller device. With the new DeLorme PN-60w, the SPOT system gains Type & Send text messaging, allowing you to send messages when you are well outside the reach of cellular networks.
The system is subscription based, and in addition to text messages, users can even type and send messages to individual email addresses, buddy lists, and social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Fire Eagle, SpotAdventures.com, or Geocaching.com.
In case of emergency, SOS messages can be sent with the user’s GPS coordinates embedded. In addition, family and friends can track a user’s progress via Google’s free online maps.
The GPS unit itself is equally impressive – offering topographic and street level maps of the U.S. and Canada. Additional maps and charts can be added using the included desktop software.
The rugged PN-60w is a 2-piece system, and the handheld communicates wirelessly with the SPOT transmitter, which means you can place it somewhere that will ensure a clear view of the sky.
The new system will be introduced at the Teva Mountain Games this week, and will be available for purchase in July.