“Iridium GO! is unlike anything the world has seen before,” reads the bold proclamation on the Iridium website. “Powered by the world's furthest reaching network, this compact, rugged and portable unit creates the first ever reliable global connection for voice and data communications on up to 5 smartphones
, laptops or tablets.”
The device looks a bit unconventional--a boxy little thing with a stubby antenna that pops up--which is commensurate with what it offers, which is global Internet access. The device relies on satellites for connectivity and grants users voice calls, apps, two-way SMS, GPS
tracking, and SOS alert functionality via what amounts to a mobile hotspot.
Iridium GO! is compatible with iOS and Android devices and avoids roaming charges, and developers can build apps for the Iridium device itself. The WiFi hotspot it creates works to about a 100-foot radius, and it’s built to MIL-STD 810F specifications.
And to be clear, the Iridium GO! doesn’t just offer Internet access; you can use your smartphone to make calls, just as you would if you were connected to your normal mobile network, just via satellite
The device doesn’t have a price tag yet--it’s still in its final development phase--but it will be available commercially in Q2 of this year.