Ultimate Outdoor Computer? Startup unveils Tablet for Wilderness Pursuits

Sqigle INC. needs $250,000 in crowd-sourced money to make it happen. But if the brand funds its project the outdoor world will have a neat new tech tool for use in the wilderness.

Caled the Earl, this Android-powered tablet measure about 7 × 5 inches and is made rugged and waterproof for the weather and bumps in the outdoors. A solar charger fold-out on back recharges it in the sun.

earl tablet image.jpg

The Earl tablet for the outdoors

Capabilities will range from onscreen maps, GPS, radio functions (AM/FM/NOAA), a speaker for audio, and access to trail databases for hiking maps at the swipe of a finger.

The 1024×768-pixel screen was designed by LG. It’s a 6-inch monochrome “e-ink” display that can be viewed in sunlight.

earl charging.jpg

Built-in solar panel to charge

Sqigle built internal weather sensors on its prototype Earls to forecast and view current temperature, humidity and barometric pressure. A breeze-measuring anemometer on the tablet can track wind speed, and a built-in compass lets you orient a map.

A final cool touch: There’s a two-way radio function on the Earl. This lets two Earl-wielding hikers keep in touch out there up to 20 miles apart, the company notes.

gloves on.jpg

Operate with gloves on

Looks to be a great new invention for any backcountry traveler with a tech side. Go to the company’s webpage to learn more, invest in the Earl, or purchase one on pre-order for $249. Planned delivery if funded is late summer 2013.

—Stephen Regenold

earl on pack.jpg

Clip it to a pack and go…

Posted by Dave - 05/09/2013 02:09 PM

Have you checked this company out? I really want to back them but I don’t see what gives them any credibility. They don’t really expand on their experience or background. Also they aren’t using a trusted platform like kickstarter. Seems too risky.

Posted by Editor - 05/09/2013 02:27 PM

We don’t know much about the company. We were also surprised it was not setup on Kickstarter or another common crowd-source engine.

Posted by Carol - 05/09/2013 07:44 PM

I’m not so concerned about their crowdsourcing. It’s easy to get lost in Kickstarter and have so little exposure that you can’t reach your goal. Smarter startups are now crowdsourcing to niche audiences. The deal breaker for me is that the unit won’t communicate off trail. If it won’t do that, I’ll just download the apps I need and use my iPhone. Why carry both, especially if I have to also carry a Spot or InReach unit for communicating from remote regions? They can keep throwing cool do-dads at me, but until I can leave either the phone or the satellite link (or both) at home, I’m not biting.

Posted by Sean - 05/10/2013 01:30 PM

@Carol: I agree with your comments re: niche funding, but I have to disagree with the off trail communication… this is meant to be a primary navigation device with superior interface, power usage, and SOME communication. If you’re going remote, you (should) have gps and to date I have yet to find one with a great interface. I use a Garmin GPSMAP 62, and the tiny screen and interface are a pain. Spot connect works with android products, meaning that this will work with it – ie. you’ll only need two items with you on the trail. At $300 its a steal – I’m a backer.

Posted by Bill - 06/14/2013 05:26 PM

I have mine ordered. Can’t wait to play with it!

Posted by emilyjames - 09/25/2013 05:39 AM

This is much brighter side of technology with solar energized laptops that last for 10 to 15 hours if talking to the rugged laptops as future is very bright along with shaping them to provide special rugged feature including to make water proof as well as removal of fan to avoid the heating problems as all these features are enjoyed in the roamingtech rugged laptops.

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