Out in the wilderness, there are few places to charge electronic devices. Those who are looking to slim down their packs and consolidate their GPS, maps, books, and radios into  one rugged machine may want to check out Earl, the world’s first backcountry survival tablet. Solar powered and able to withstand dust, mud, and shock, this hearty companion is currently looking for some crowdsourcing support to get it out onto the trail.

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Earl gets its name from the developer’s trusty dog, and the tablet is just as ready to accompany wilderness explorers out on an adventure. As the very first tablet designed for survival, the solar-powered computer has an array of features meant for navigation, communication, and condition monitoring. The 6” flexible E-ink touch screen is glove friendly, and displays hundreds of Android applications. It can reach a full charge on 5 hours of sunlight for 20 hours of continual operation. Other internal hardware features include gyroscopic motor controls, temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure sensors, and a compass. The GPS chipset gives readings on location, direction and elevation and plots coordinates on over 300,000 trails from everytrail.com.

The tablet can even measure heart rate and cadence via Connect ANT + or Bluetooth 4.0. A two-way radio aids in communication with a FRS, GMRS, and MURS transceiver, and it can connect to digital and analog radios. Users can send secure text messages or use Earl as a walkie-talkie. An AM/FM tuner provides news and entertainment, while SAME (Specific Area Message Encoding) can deliver info from NOAA weather channels. The 1-watt speaker is magnet-free and waterproof. Able to read PDF, EPUB, and MOBI formats, Earl can access guides and reading material across platforms.

Through June 9, backers can purchase Earl for $249 – a full 30 percent below the estimated retail cost.

+ Earl

Via ABC News