Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Low cost, child friendly geocaching GPS launches

Low cost, child friendly geocaching GPS get launched
LBS provider Apisphere is launching today its first consumer, hardware product, geomate.jr, a low cost ($69.95), single purpose GPS unit dedicated to geocaching.

The goal of this new product is to offer a geocaching experience out of the box and is particularly targeting kids. Geomate.jr has 250,000 geocaches preloaded, covering the entire USA. The device has a black and white screen with indication of the direction of the nearest geocache and its distance. Menus have been kept to a minimum to make it simple to operate.

Running on a SiRF StarIII chipset with 2 AA batteries, this device has an estimated 12 hours battery life. Moving forward Apisphere will sell a cable and software ($24.95) in order to maintain an up to date database or go geocaching out of the United States.

Low cost, child friendly geocaching GPS get launched
While geocaching is becoming more mainstream there was so far not such simple way to go geocaching. Warren Hewerdine, director of marketing at Apisphere believes that his first customers will be “the existing geocachers buying the product for their friends and relatives in order to introduce other people to the activity”. The second layer of customers are likely to be the existing outdoor community that could know about the activity but do not practice today.

In terms of distribution Apisphere has already signed an agreement with outdoor chain REI (107 stores in 27 States across the USA) where the product is already available, as well as on its website REi.com. Geomate.jr will be also sold directly through the official geocaching website, geocaching.com. Apisphere expects further deals to be made in order to enlarge the distribution of the product.

Geomate.jr was born from the idea developed by Navit Innovations, a start-up founded in 2007 by former SiRF employees Warren Hewerdine and Robert Harvey, and acquired by Apisphere in August 2008.

Link to story

Official Site
Buy it at REI

Darcie Gudger's article on the Geomate Jr.

CNET review of the Geomate Jr.


Erika Jean said...

preloaded geocaches? what if one is down and or archived? I guess you have to go online 1st?

Just John said...

Neat idea, but I like the idea of giving my kids my GPSr...Great excuse to buy a new one, right?

wasim said...
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