At the beginning of last year, Beartooth launched their snap on phone case that lets you communicate even if the cellular network is unavailable, failed, or congested. The company was waiting for FCC approval at the time, but now appears fully ready to come to market–almost that is–and with a new hardware design concept to boot.
If you recall, Beartooth lets you talk, text, and locate other Beartooth users while you are completely off the grid. The technology uses a software controlled UHF/VHF radio (sub-1GHz license free bands) to enable you to communicate with fellow Beartooth device owners within a couple of miles–both push to talk type voice and data to an individual or a group. You can also locate your friends on the mountain or in the backcountry via automatic or on-demand GPS location sharing.
It looks as though Beartooth have now decoupled the device from your phone–its no longer a snap on case–but it still offers a 3000 mAh Li-ion battery backup for your phone in addition to a communication platform. The device weighs 4.5 ounces and measures in at 2.44 x 4.0 x 0.49 inches.
You pair Beartooth with you phone via Bluetooth and control the system with an app on your phone (iOS and Android). Within the app you also get high quality 24k topographic and street maps for offline use.
Beartooth is currently taking pre-orders for $249 per pair, 40% off the eventual retail price of $399. Beartooth says the devices will start shipping to US customers late 2016.