Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ:GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, just announced the redesigned and upgraded Rino 610, 650 and 655t. If you are a hunter, skier, hiker, or any other type of outdoor enthusiast – and like to venture out into the great unknown, then the all-new Garmin Rino handheld two-way radios integrated with GPS may be perfect for you.
If you put yourself in a potential survival situation, then you have to have a reliable communication device – no questions asked. You’ll also want to have the ability to quickly locate other persons in your party when traveling in a group, so they have a way to notify authorities and tell them where you are, in case of an emergency. If you ever saw the movie “127 Hours” starring James Franco, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about.
If a friend also has a Rino then you can set it up so that you can see where the other person is via the GPS tracking system. An icon will flash showing the person’s name, location and any other information that they allowed to be public. This is extremely important when forming a network of fellow outdoor enthusiasts. You can also send unit-to-unit text messages to other Rino users in your area – it’s ideal for loud or windy conditions, or just when you don’t want to disturb the wildlife.
The Garmin device also gives you the ability to store up to 1000 locations and save them onto the memory card. It also lets you save many waypoints, aka intermediary locations. For example, when hiking and you make a turn to start heading into another direction, you should record your waypoints. In case you decide you need to backtrack, the Garmin GPS system will take you right back to your last waypoints.
The Garmin Rino also has weather alerts. For added safety, it has a built-in NOAA weather radio that can help you avoid hazardous weather.
The Rino 655t also has a built-in 5-megapixel autofocus camera so you can snap photos as you enjoy your journey. Each photo is automatically geotagged with the location of where it was taken, allowing you – or those you share your photos with – to easily navigate back to that spot in the future.
The Garmin Rino GPS system has four major functions. First on the GPS system’s main page is your radio information. You can select your own personal frequency at any time. You should also have an emergency frequency setting as well – predetermined and known by all in your group. The second page is a map page that shows your exact location on the globe, instantly, anytime – day or night.
The third page is an electronic compass. It works just like a normal compass and will automatically the distance you have traveled. It will also let you know the exact distance of your next destination. The fourth page is an altimeter and will let you know your exact height/altitude at any given time or place.
There are many maps that you can purchase to go with the Garmin GPS system. It is advisable that you get either the Western or Northern United States map. Each one will cost about $100, not cheap by any means, but the level of detail of the maps is incredible and well worth the extra money. The Rino 655t comes pre-loaded with TOPO 100k maps.
The new Garmin Rino devices are expected to be available in the third quarter of 2011. The 650 and Garmin Rino 655t are powered by a removable and rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack lasting up to 14 hours or up to 18 hours with the optional AA battery pack.