(Newsdesk) Tom Sjogren from HumanEdgeTech explains the smart phone/sat phone hybrid.
Exweb: Alpine style tech, wrapped around your iPhone! What's that about?
Tom: It's the smartphones entering the world of exploration. Slide your iPhone 4 or 5 in the Thuraya SatSleeve and use Twitter, Facebook and other apps such as Contact (optimized for satellite connections) direct from your iPhone.
Figuratively speaking, the iPhone is the brain and the SatSleeve wraps around it.
Exweb: When and where should I use it?
Tom: Anywhere Thuraya satellites cover. That's pretty much all of Asia, Africa and Europe. It should be on every Everest climber's wish list for the 2014 season.
Exweb: What are the different weights in the ad?
Tom: The iPhone 5S is 112 grams and the Satsleeve 220 grams. On summit push that's all you'll need which will put you at a total of 332 grams.
During regular climbing we recommend charging from a top-of-the-line Feather2 solar panel. The panel is 320 gr and with another 150g for cables you are still at only 800 grams for a stand-alone system.
Exweb: How does this solution compare to previous technology?
Tom: Leading the development of ultra-light expedition communications for the last ten years we know light-weight at HumanEdgeTech. This solution is 30% lighter than anything we've done before. More important even is the ease of use. It's been difficult for people to switch to a seperate technology when going on a trip. Having the iPhone as base certainly simplifies things.
Exweb: What will I need beside the SatSleeve?
Tom: Your iPhone, a power solution and a data/voice plan. We have put together a ready-to-go package including software.
Exweb: Does it work with Android?
Tom: Hopefully Thuraya will present something for Android in the future. Right now it only works with iPhone 5/5S and (with an extra adapter) for iPhone 4/4S.
Exweb: Can I use it beyond my expeditions?
Tom: Of course. As long as you are under the Thuraya footprint. This is a great emergency solution for people in Africa, Europe and Asia.
Exweb: How much is it?
Tom: $800 - $950 ($795 at HumanEdgeTech). You will also need a 12V adapter for solar charging ($56) a Sim card ($59) and a prepaid plan that will charge $1 - 2/minute and $5/MB. So look at around $1000 with initial airtime.
Exweb: How fast can I get it?
Tom: Normally within days but expect these units to sell out so I would recommend to order at least a few months before going on an expedition.
Exweb: How does it work to update my website?
Tom: You can use your standard Facebook or Twitter app for updates. The CONTACT iPhone version updates almost any website (wordpress etc) with pictures and text. Uploads are twice as efficient (save on sat phone cost) and an automatic tracking feature will update your position with each dispatch.
ExplorersWeb sponsor HumanEdgeTech is a unique, no-nonsense virtual expedition tech warehouse for satellite communications and edge technology. Created by explorers for explorers, the store is user-friendly with no-hassle pricing, expedition-tested gear, expedition-ready hardware, fast delivery and payments. HumanEdgeTech.com accepts most international credit cards, and delivers worldwide within 72 hours. Contact the team at +1 212 966 1928 or by email email@example.com
Google Glass at Antarctica
Thuraya plan change explained
Expedition Tech Week: New in Satellite Hardware
ExWeb CES report: Something new is brewing
Tech Week: World’s largest solar power shop