If you’ve ever been out on the trail and lost connectivity to your cell network, you know how frustrating, and dangerous, it can be to be unable to communicate with loved ones and emergency responders. In the past, you’ve needed a dedicated satellite phone, or a mesh network of devices in order to communicate on the trail outside of cell coverage. But a new startup called Somewear is trying to change that.
The brand launched a new device on Kickstarter that promises to allow users to communicate via text message, without cell service, anywhere in the world. Somewear is also promising local weather updates, local alerts, an SOS beacon and the ability to share your location on a map. It sounds a bit too good to be true, but in a beta demo on the brand’s Kickstarter page, two Somewear developers are shown communicating via text with phones in airplane mode — at a minimum, a proof of concept.
And the brand has a heavy hitting outdoorsman backing the project as well. “Somewear basically turns your cell phone into a global communication device,” says legendary backcountry snowboarder Jeremy Jones. “In my profession, you learn quickly that if something goes wrong in the mountains you need reliable communication with emergency responders. Cell phones rarely work in the mountains, which is why Somewear has become a critical part of my backcountry kit.”
On the technical side, Somewear Labs claims that the device will send or receive 1,000 text messages on a single charge. It weighs just three ounces, has an IPX7 waterproof rating, is MIL-STD-810 shockproof and can operate in temperatures from -4F to 140F. Delivery for the device is slated for mid-July or early August and is expected to retail for $450. But if you support the Kickstarter campaign now, you can pick one up for just $299.
The best way to catch up on the day’s most important product releases and stories. Read the Story