A Smartphone Takes On The Outdoors
If you love the outdoors and love gadgets, odds are you can’t always combine both, especially when trying to pare down to the bare essentials without compromising safety. A German company called takwak is trying to solve that, with a smartphone, itself called Tak Wak, that combines a local walkie-talkie function, GPS navigation, and rugged construction. it also has features such as a camera that users expect.
While that may sound ordinary, the walkie-talkie function is quite useful when you don’t have any cell coverage. Most national parks don’t, away from major roads. (After all, that’s why park rangers use them instead of phones). The navigation functions include one for groups, which would help a lot in keeping track of friends who have lost sight of each other. And the navigation also includes topographical maps.
While it doesn’t have everything -- there’s no a satellite link, for example -- it is enough to make going on a hike a lot easier and safer. The device isn’t in stores yet (and it will likely be sold in Europe first). But it is scheduled for launch in the first half of 2012, with a price tag of around €549 (about $715).
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