Garmin has introduced the inReach Mini, a smaller and more compact satellite communicator with available two-way messaging and a 24/7 SOS function when combined with an inReach subscription to access the Iridium satellite network.
Measuring just under 4″ tall by 2″ wide, and weighing 3.5 ounces, the inReach Mini can easily be carried in a backpack, boat, plane, or glovebox, Garmin officials note, adding the inReach Mini works anywhere when using the Iridium satellite network.
The inReach Mini allows messaging to tracking to declaring an SOS. It can be used on its own or paired with a compatible device.
The Earthmate app pairs with the inReach Mini via Bluetooth to a compatible smartphone for access to unlimited maps, aerial imagery, and U.S. NOAA charts. The Earthmate app also allows all of the inReach features to be accessed through the paired mobile device, so a user can reach anyone in their contact list, Garmin officials said.
The inReach Mini also works with Garmin’s smartwatch line to send and receive messages from their watch with the device securely fastened to their pack, kit, or vehicle. Users also can remotely program the device to send and receive messages with compatible Garmin handhelds, wearables or other mobile devices.
Pilots will also have the same ability to send and receive messages through their Garmin Pilot app right from the cockpit. Garmin Pilot leverages the inReach Mini’s GPS positioning to drive a georeferenced aircraft position symbol on a tablet’s moving map display. The device has the ability to provide tracking for those wanting to follow the flight, using the web-based MapShare page created for each inReach account.
Like all inReach devices, a user can hit the SOS button in case of emergency that sends a distress signal to GEOS, a 24/7 International Emergency Response Coordination Center. GEOS will track the device that triggered the SOS, notify the proper contacts, and send the necessary emergency responders to the exact location. GEOS will deliver a confirmation that help is on the way and also continually update the user on the status of the response team. GEOS will also reach out to the user’s emergency contact and alert them of the situation.
Every inReach device also gives users access to a cloud-based website to not only plan future trips with specific waypoints and routes, but to create preset messages and quick texts. In the website, users can sync and manage their device settings, update firmware, link social media accounts and store unlimited location tracking data.
To receive weather forecasts, the optional service provides detailed weather updates directly to the inReach Mini. Users who choose either the basic or premium package offered for land or marine forecasts will know the conditions for a current location, a waypoint, or future destination.
To access the Iridium network and communicate with an inReach Mini device, an active satellite subscription is required. Depending on the frequency of use, a variety of airtime plans that range from flexible month-to-month options to an annual contract package are available.
The inReach Mini includes an internal, rechargeable lithium battery for up to 50 hours of use at the default 10-minute tracking mode and up to 20 days at the 30-minute interval extended tracking mode.
Available in the second quarter of 2018, the inReach Mini will have a suggested retail price of $349.99.