According to Beacon Reviews, both Mammut and Pieps are rumored to be launching new avalanche transceivers at the upcoming Outdoor Retailer show next month. It looks as though these particular beacons won't be commercially available until Winter 2012 but hopefully I will get to play around with them in advance to share with you more details about the products.
The new Mammut avalanche transceiver, called the Pulse Element, is targeted towards the non-professional, occasional user. Similar to the Pulse Barryvox, the Element will feature three antennas, include a group check mode and support a visual of multiple victims (though not selection of an individual victim).
The Element interface will be simplified down to a single button, icon-only display and will auto revert to transmit mode based on a fixed time period. The avalanche transceiver's range is said to be 40-50 meters in a forward direction, all for a paired down price of $350.
The new Pieps Vector avalanche transceiver features three antennas and multiple burial indications. A fold-out antenna switches the Vector from transmit into search mode and also helps improve the range. A built in GPS helps you alert the search and rescue team to your exact coordinates while a USB interface will let you download all the GPS data to see the search path, burial locations, etc.
I am very excited to check out both of the Pieps Vector and Mammut Pulse Element avalanche transceivers in Salt Lake City next month so stay tuned.