Earl: World's First Solar-Powered Backcountry Survival Tablet

Image credit: Meetearl.com

Jon Perry says his inspiration behind making a tough, reliable and rugged expedition gadget came from his long-time outdoorsy companion - his dog Earl. Now the world's first backcountry survival tablet, also named Earl, is in development and asking for some crowdsourcing support.

Through June 9, you can be a project backer and reserve your own unit for just $249, 30 percent below the expected retail cost. Unit production is on track to begin in July, according to a post on the project website.

Earl is solar-powered, features a 6? flexible Amazon Kindle-looking E-ink touch screen and is water/dust/shock/mud-proof. The tablet runs a version of Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) and keeps you connected while braving the wild with GPS onboard, FRS, GMRS and MURS two-way radio connectivity for up to 20 miles, and a built in AM/FM/SW/LW radio tuner.

The device can reach full charge on five hours of sunlight and that's enough power for 20 hours of operation. Other mountain man features are "glove friendly" touch, gyroscope motion controls and the ability to measure temperature, humidity and barometric pressure.

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The project site says Earl is compatible with thousands of already available Android apps and the device also supports EPUB, MOBI and PDF e-reader formats.

Earl should be in backers' hands "by the end of the Summer." For the time being, Perry and his developers are offering these Vine clips to display the development progress: