One of the challenges with backcountry travel is staying in contact with your fellow travelers, family, or friends. Beartooth, a Bozeman-based startup, is looking to change all of that with their wireless communication system. Beartooth is a small device that works with your existing smartphone to communicate with others when you have no service. Users of the device can talk, text, use maps, and share location to other Beartooth users within range even when you have no cellular service.
Slightly larger than a deck of cards, the device measures roughly 2.44 inches x 4.0 inches x 0.49 inches and weighs just 4.5 ounces. Powered by a 3000 mAh Li-ion battery, the Beartooth device was designed to last for a whole four-day camping trip with typical messaging usage. However, battery life may be reduced if you use Beartooth’s USB Type-C charge port as a backup charger for your smartphone. Communication is done through sub-1GHz license free bands and you can typically reach other Beartooth users up to two miles away.
Beartooth works on both iOS and Android phones using their advanced app. Users can use push-to-talk voice, text messaging (individual or group), and can either share GPS locations on-demand or automatically to their group – all without cellular service! Beartooth also provides users with high quality 24k topographic and street maps. While the device was designed for outdoor explorers and adventures, it could come in handy in other applications when a cellular network is unavailable, failed, or overloaded. Another thing to note is that messages sent using Beartooth are encrypted. Beartooth uses asymmetric encryption to ensure that messages are only viewable by their owner.
To kick off the launch of the device, the company is offering a limited 30-day pre-order campaign at 40% off MSRP. Regularly $399, it’s now available for $249 per pair. Beartooth devices will start shipping to US customers in late 2016. For more information on Beartooth, or to take advantage of the pre-order special, visit their website. You can also check out the overview video below: