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Earl - Backcountry Device - GPS/TOPO Solar-charging Weather FRS/GMRS/MURS eInk Android
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Matthew Naylor

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Earl - Backcountry Device - GPS/TOPO Solar-charging Weather FRS/GMRS/MURS eInk Android on 05/08/2013 15:14:37 MDT Print View

Hi folks.

My brother alerted me to another crowdfunded device that should interest the techies here:

The specs on this thing are crazy - It's too much to list here, just visit the website.

Dimensions: 7.2 inches x 4.75 inches x 0.6 inches
Weight: 10.8 oz
Price: $249 or $299 (hi res TOPOs)

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: @Tarptent
Earl - Backcountry Device - GPS/TOPO Solar-charging Weather FRS/GMRS/MURS eInk Android on 05/09/2013 23:13:18 MDT Print View

I spotted that too.

Something that caught my eye was " Reliable in temperatures between "0-50 °C"

Billy Ray
(rosyfinch) - M

Locale: the mountains
scam? on 05/10/2013 08:18:05 MDT Print View

Earl??? Send them 249.00 to pre-order? (trust me...)

Could this be a scam?


Matthew Naylor

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: scam? on 05/10/2013 08:25:11 MDT Print View

Well, I don't know why they didn't just use Kickstarter, but this is a growing style of funding for small businesses. You commit the cash, take a little bit of risk, but promote something that you care about, usually with little benefits for the risk (early adopter, or little rewards).

Nothing about it strikes me as disingenuous....

Jeremy Platt
(jeremy089786) - F

Locale: Sydney
Looks good on 05/10/2013 19:04:33 MDT Print View

This looks well within the limits of current technology so no reason it is any more of a scam than anything else out there. Probably worth asking whether they are going to take the money out of your account until the deadline is reached and if there is any buyer protection (ability to pay with paypal or something similar). Also, Kickstarter takes ~ 5% cut and only works in 2 countries so certainly isn't perfect.

As for the actual tablet... looks pretty darn amazing on paper and a fairly good candidate to replace smart phones in the back country. I especially like the look of wind speed and humidity sensors!

Jennifer Mitol
(Jenmitol) - M

Locale: In my dreams....
Re: Looks good on 05/12/2013 07:24:58 MDT Print View

I think it looks pretty promising, and the price point seems about right. I like the idea of the e ink screen instead of LCD...a little clunkier in terms of changing screens, but way nicer to look at and much easier on batteries.

Not sure technology wise why it wouldn't work...heck, look at what an iPhone can do. Just enclose it in a weather proof case, add a built in solar charger, limit the apps (I love the idea of the e reader included!!) and use the e-ink. Sounds like a great idea!

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
pfffttt... on 05/12/2013 14:09:20 MDT Print View


Dustin Short
(upalachango) - MLife
Re: Earl - Backcountry Device - GPS/TOPO Solar-charging Weather FRS/GMRS/MURS eInk Android on 05/13/2013 19:35:05 MDT Print View

As with all things in life, a little research goes a long way. They have a blog with videos of their prototype:

definitely more advanced stage prototype than most crowdfunded projects. Even a clip of them scrolling through a top map.

Their FAQ answers most the other questions posted in thread. I still won't be getting one (paper and compass cover same features as device, and cheaper/lighter) but still intriguing idea and hopefully their venture pans out for the innovators and the "investors"