DeLorme and SPOT join forces for GPS receiver with satellite messaging

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,, or

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.

New device will let you text, twitter from remote places

The Consumer Electronics Show has been going on in Las Vegas the past few days, with a host of new gadgets and gizmos being announced, including everything from new digital camera, ebook readers, and even 3D LCD TV’s. One product that was announced, and may be of interest to travelers heading to remote places on the planet, is the Earthmate PN-60w, a hand held GPS device from DeLorme and SPOT, that will allow adventurers to more effectively communicate from locations that are not covered by cell service.

The new device pairs one of DeLorme’s GPS units with SPOT’s next generation Satellite Communicator, to send custom message from the backcountry. The Earthmate wil have all the regular features you’d expect from a GPS, including base maps, in this case covering the entire world, navigation, electronic compass, and so on. But it will also wirelessly pair with the Communicator, allowing the user to type text messages and send them to friends and family back home via satellite.

For its part, the Satellite Communicator allows for adventure travelers to call for help, should the need arise, from nearly anywhere on the planet. It also lets the user to share tracking information and custom messages that can easily be interfaced with Twiter, Facebook,, and SPOT’s own

The Earthmate PN-60w will be available later this spring, but pricing, for the device and the communications service, have not yet been announced. If DeLorme and SPOT stay true to form however, you can expect global communications to become available and affordable for the average consumer.