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Text Anywhere off-the-grid satellite messaging lets you text ... anywhere

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August 14, 2013

The Text Anywhere works on the Iridium satellite network to provide global text messaging ...

The Text Anywhere works on the Iridium satellite network to provide global text messaging capabilities

Touted as a simpler, subscription-free alternative to the Delorme inReach, the Text Anywhere is a portable, satellite-powered hot spot that adds virtually unlimited text-messaging range to your phone. If your work or play takes you to remote regions of the world out of mobile phone range, this device can keep you in touch with the folks back in civilization.

The Text Anywhere unit pairs with compatible Wi-Fi-equipped computers, smartphones, laptops and tablets. However, unlike some other satellite pairing devices, the Text Anywhere works via a Web app rather than relying on an OS-specific app, giving users a little extra device flexibility. Just like the inReach, it works on the Iridium satellite network, providing global coverage – with the exception of some countries where it is currently disabled, such as Cuba and North Korea, and in places with no clear view of the sky, such as canyons and under thick tree canopies.

To use the Text Anywhere device, you simply select it as your Wi-Fi network on a compatible device and open the browser-based application. You can then send 160-character text messages or text-only emails. It is a two-way device, so you can also receive text messages and text-only emails, and other functions include social media integration and location sharing.

Unlike the inReach, the Text Anywhere is not designed as a rescue device. While you could theoretically use it to contact a friend or rescue agency via text or email, it does not connect you directly to a global rescue coordination center the way inReach and SPOT satellite beacons do. Its location-sharing feature is also not designed as a rescue pinpointing tool. This is really just a device to keep you in touch with friends and family while out of mobile phone range, not a satellite rescue beacon.

The Text Anywhere measures 4 x 4 x 1.5 in (10 x 10 x 4 cm) and weighs 7 oz (200 g) before you pop in the four AA batteries. The device can also be powered by a vehicle's electrical outlet with the included 12-volt adapter.

An advantage of the Text Anywhere is that it doesn't require an annual or multi-month package subscription contract. As I personally learned with the SPOT messenger, annual subscriptions for such satellite beacons cost a lot of money (especially when they lock you into an auto-renew) for very little usage. Most users will only need them for a couple of weeks or months out of the year, so a flexible, no-subscription model is an advantage.

Text Anywhere offers a monthly package for US$29.99, which includes 100 messages. The overage rate is $0.27 per message, and there is a one-time activation fee of $35. The device itself costs $399.

Source: Text Anywhere

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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8 Comments

I can see it being used in an emergency if one uses ones cell phone to determine ones location then text that information to someone who could help.

I think it is cool in that no matter where one is, one could text updates ones activities at any time.

BigGoofyGuy
15th August, 2013 @ 05:21 am PDT

The top of the article says subscription free. The bottom says $29.99/month.

Bob Ehresman
15th August, 2013 @ 08:02 am PDT

forget adveture exploring and military as a market. think about the 500 million people or more in the world living sparsely and in truly remote communities, many of whom remain in nomadic or traditional lifestyles ( arctic, desert and steppe dwellers ) . they won't or cannot all move to more densely populated areas where a cell phone tower would be profiteable fo a telecom company to build. the telecommunication tenatacles of global networks will eventually price them into the system.

this company developing a cheaper text by sattelite system is just one more on its way to bringing the price point of wireless communication to the remote areas of the world further to an affordeable level. eventually, maybe in hundred years, it will be 1% of the current cost to purchase a device and send texts with it from any location in the world within reach of a sattelite signal.

that would be a funadamental change for humanity.

zevulon
15th August, 2013 @ 08:15 am PDT

What I DON'T get, is why is this technology just imbedded into the smartphone itself? All of these devices are "pairing" devices, just but the tech right into the phone, then it wouldn't cost quite 400 dollars for a gps beacon alone. i also disapprove of the monthly charge model. It is considerably more cost effective to pay per use, rather than per month. This is the reason that I have yet to get a spot, or other gps-based text beacon, or emergency transponder. They are not yet affordable for those of us working on a budget or in the non-profit sector.

Cyberxbx
15th August, 2013 @ 11:13 am PDT

"with the exception of some countries where it is currently disabled, such as Cuba and North Korea,"

Does this mean "disabled" as in 'jammed by the government' or as in 'the company agreed not to offer the service to receivers which made it into those nations'? I would expect the former but I can easily see a company either being pressured by diplomats or bowing to hack threats or bribes from those states.

Snake Oil Baron
15th August, 2013 @ 02:11 pm PDT

At $30 a month and $400 plus $35 just to buy it, you just blew out it being used in third world countries and in the US for that matter. Greed won out, dead device out of the box...

mountainhiker
15th August, 2013 @ 06:34 pm PDT

@ zevulon and mountainhiker

Actually you are speaking out of a total lack of knowledge about so-called "third world countries". For example, Northern Africa has very well-developed cell-phone networks that a large percentage of the population uses daily. These services are very inexpensive and used by "everyday" nomads, villagers, and ordinary people all over the continent. They even use their phones as payment services. They don't need this device, they already have a well-developed, reliable cell phone system in place.

Les Stagg
16th August, 2013 @ 05:32 am PDT

What is the point of this thing? DeLorme sells a GPS mapping device with full Txt messaging on it for only 299 to begin with. Why spend more for less?

Brian W. Simonson
3rd July, 2014 @ 11:46 pm PDT
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