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Integrated Pocket PC, GPS and Laser Range Finder

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the you'll-put-your-eye-out dept.

Handhelds 169

freitasm writes "Geekzone is reporting on Ike, made by Surveylab. Ike is a handheld data capture device that integrates GPS, an electronic compass, a laser distance meter, an inclinometer, a digital camera, and a Pocket PC 2003 handheld in a single unit, ideal for GIS and other surveys."

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Ah, but... (4, Funny)

WIAKywbfatw (307557) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240947)

...can you mount it on the head of a shark?

Re:Ah, but... (4, Funny)

syphax (189065) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240985)

...can you mount it on the head of a shark?

It doesn't matter; the laser is not of "frickin'" spec.

Re:Ah, but... (4, Funny)

gid13 (620803) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241035)

I'm in engineering physics (lasers and other stuff to those who don't know), and graduates always pull pranks on a certain day, very ceremonial blah blah blah. Anyway, I tried to convince them that we should get an aquarium of fish with lasers attached and put it in the office window or something. But would they go for it? No. Bastards and their "feasibility".

Re:Ah, but... (4, Funny)

Ever Dubious (686307) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241044)

How about on the head of an ill-tempered sea bass?

Re:Ah, but... (1)

Jotaigna (749859) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241090)

what kind of talented sharks do you train that can conduct a survey?

My day (4, Funny)

SillySnake (727102) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240949)

Back in my day we only had luck and those flashy things up in the air at night.

You were lucky (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241280)

In my day, we didn't have flashy things up in the air at night. Every morning, three hours before we went to sleep, our da would wake us up. We'd have warm gravel for breakfast and then we'd have to crawl over broken glass to draw all of the stars up in the sky for us to navigate by. Then we'd have to blink our eyes rapidly to make them seem like they were flashing. And we lucky to have them.

CounterStrike (-1, Troll)

SparafucileMan (544171) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240950)

The campers of the world must be rejoicing.

Good! (3, Funny)

kc0re (739168) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240956)

For all of us that don't have enough toys to begin with. This will consolidate some of them..

Good? GOOD?!? (1)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241225)

Oh, come on. This is some sort of turbo-charged slide-rule/pocket protector for the 22nd Century (it's that advanced).

Here's a thought: step away from the IKE and start walking towards the member of the appropriate gender of desire.

Re:Good? GOOD?!? (0)

kc0re (739168) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241319)

There's a member of the opposite sex? I wouldn't know, I am stuck in my cave with my new GPS//PDA !!

Re:Good? GOOD?!? (2, Funny)

p4ul13 (560810) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241345)

I am stuck in my cave with my new GPS//PDA !!

You might want to get out of that cave. GPS typically doesn't work well in such conditions, and we'd hate for that nice tech to go to waste.

Re:Good? GOOD?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241463)

Osama??

Re:Good! (1)

robslimo (587196) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241422)

Arg! Where's the bloody price?

Between two distributors, GeekZone and the manufacturer's sites, I can't find anything but "It's cost effective".

Would this set me back $200 to $400 or are we talking a grand or more?

Hey look! (5, Funny)

ParadoxicalPostulate (729766) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240958)

Its a tricorder!

Re:Hey look! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241078)

Phaser came to my mind first.

Re:Hey look! (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241184)

Sounds like something Homer Simpson would buy! Sure sounds..er.. useful.

tricorder feature list (1)

cosmol (143886) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241294)

What are the true capabilities of a tricorder? What is the difference between a star trek tricorder and one from the next generation. Do they have tricorders yet in star trek enterprise?

So my question is, what exactly is a tricorder supposed to do?

  • Some obvious features:
  • Temperature measurements
  • Radiation measurements, light, radar, gamma rays, etc
  • Communications capability
  • Data storage/retrieval
  • Radiation emmision capabilities
  • Bells,whistles and flashing lights
What have I missed?

Re:tricorder feature list (1)

Charvak (97898) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241485)

I think different people have differnet tricorder. For example, the medical officer will have tricorder which will tell the vital signs.

poor Ike... (0, Funny)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240975)

reporting on Ike...

I didn't know President Eisenhower was a geek.

Re:poor Ike... (1)

stevensweet (206786) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241077)

More foresighted than a geek.

A rehash of a previous post...

Excerpt:

In 1957 Eisenhower created the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, a think tank charged with creating ideas to compete with the Soviet Union). To collaborate on these ideas, they created Internet?s predecessor Arpanet, first envisioned by the head of DARPA computer projects, J.C.R. Licklider of MIT.

Arpanet overcame this limitation with the development by Vint Cerf from Stanford University, of TCP/IP, or Transfer Control Protocol/Internet Protocol. TCP/IP is based upon packet switching, developed by Leonard Kleinrock at MIT in 1961.

Story can be found here http://www.newsmax.com/showinsidecover.shtml?a=200 2/9/25/100351

Re:poor Ike... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241086)

Did somebody say Old Ike ?!!!!

Is that a Pocket PC, GPS and Laser Range Finder... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8240976)

...in your pocket or are you just happy to see the hole you're burning into my retina.

I like it... (2, Interesting)

59Bassman (749855) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240984)

I'm not sure what I'd do with it personally, but the concept is cool.

I can see this being used by lots of folks probably not in the original target market: professional hunting guides. All in one unit rangefinder/gps/camera? Make it durable and I bet the hunting crowd would be all over them.

Archaeology (4, Interesting)

ParticleGirl (197721) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241187)

It's the perfect tool for an archaeologist. We need compasses, GPS, inclinometers, digital cameras-- but I probably couldn't use it under the canopy of a jungle, and since the battery is only good for 8 hours and rechargable in a car-- and I wouldn't see a car nor a generator for a couple of months-- it remains, sadly, impractical. I guess I just have to tote around the 6 separate, heavier instruments and the supply of batteries. If this had smarter batteries, I would be ecstatic right now. I'm sure that archaeologists who work closer to civilization (and therefore care less whether they're carting 1 instrument or 6) are probably pretty psyched, though!

Just a thought for you... (1)

59Bassman (749855) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241378)

You mention being under the canopy of a jungle, so this is probably less than helpful. However, never having been under a jungle canopy I don't know how much light you get. But this solar PDA charger [siliconsolar.com] would indicate it's at least possible to run a PDA device in remote areas for extended periods. Ever able to find a "hole" in the canopy to see the sun?

Re:I like it... (1)

timjdot (638909) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241277)

When one reads the last few sentences, the magnitude of the chang ein what people can do strikes you. No longer is a $20M satellite needed to image the earth. Shoot, who'll be the first to set up an OS site to share pictures of GPS points? Then we truly can have one wicked awesome map program on our notebook that flashes up exactly what the turn looks like before we get there! Future is bright!

Re:I like it... (0, Flamebait)

p4ul13 (560810) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241371)

How drunk were you when you gurgled out this ramble?

Re:I like it... (1)

timjdot (638909) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241506)

Not.

How long do you think it takes to report a traffic accident today? How long did it take 30 years ago?

Everybody will have all this neat stuff eventually and then life will be alot different.

What I am hinting at is much more "drunk" of an idea than you realize: large companies and governments were needed through the past centuries to co-ordinate. Someone had to rule and cause harmony. Distributed powerful tools and communications are starting to change this social paradigm. People and entities in general now openly migrate to goverenments offering the best tax/benefit tradeoffs (us jobs to india, china, mexico and US citizens migrate residence to TX, FL, etc.).

Put a powerful device in the hands of the masses and the uses and innovation are exponential. That is what is happening with the Internet and will happen with all human efforts over this century.

A more concrete example is a super-computer. In the past these were mega-millions of dollars but now people regularly tout distributed frameworks as having nearly equal power at thousandths of the cost (of course for some problems loose coupling is not a solution ;-).

So, I re-iterate, "I like it..."

Great... (2, Funny)

niko9 (315647) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240988)

for all the Slashdot geeks. They can take pictures of all the girls they could have hooked up with.

Hell, they can even look at each other range finders to see who actually got the closest to a girl.

..they could have hooked up with ... (2, Funny)

burgburgburg (574866) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241317)

They can take pictures of all the girls they could have hooked up with.

You mean, all the girls they could have hooked up with if they weren't carrying the combined GPS, electronic compass, laser distance meter, inclinometer, digital camera, Pocket PC 2003 handheld? Come on, even then it's unlikely.

i'm waiting... (2, Funny)

tsunamifirestorm (729508) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240990)

for one that can record video. :)

Re:i'm waiting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241441)

it can at 25 fps.

Been waiting my whole life! (4, Interesting)

smokin_juan (469699) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240992)

... for something like this with a cell phone. this is close but the wait continues.

Re:Been waiting my whole life! (1)

whizzard (177251) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241268)


for something like this with a cell phone. this is close but the wait continues.


Assuming you're serious, the specs say that this has bluetooth, so you would be able to use it with a cell phone.

George Carlin (2, Funny)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240994)

I believe it was George Carlin who said that only in America could you stick any two things together and someone would buy it.

Re:George Carlin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241071)

he was referring to sex.

Yay! The tricorder is just around the corner (2, Funny)

Uncle Op (541486) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240995)

This is cool. A great toy that will let everyone put up 3D models of their houses so they can offer virtual tours on the web. Or put out for bids on landscaping or renovations.

I love toys...

Re:Yay! The tricorder is just around the corner (1)

Baron_Yam (643147) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241084)

The tricorder is old news - it's already been made (minus the ability to detect things like tachyons, of course) and the market spoke. The company (Vital Technologies in Bolton, Ontario, Canada IIRC) went tits-up, I believe.

Re:Yay! The tricorder is just around the corner (1)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241424)

Do we really want everybody to be able to put 3D models of their houses online? I mean, it's not as if we'll be able to go through their underwear drawer, so what's the point?

On second thought, it would make the burglar business more intresting.

Could be useful to golfers (3, Interesting)

The I Shing (700142) | more than 10 years ago | (#8240996)

I've been asked by golfers if there's a device that will let them measure the exact distance to the pin (or at least the green).

I've always been at a loss to tell them what they could use, at least when it came to handheld optical devices.

Re:Could be useful to golfers (3, Interesting)

bugnuts (94678) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241088)

There are several devices for this, from the $20 monocular to a $300 laser rangefinder.

The $20 version simply has markings, similar to a rifle scope, where the user simply matches the height of the pin to the markings and reads the result. The farther away, the smaller the pin.

A $20 version that uses no batteries is often far better suited for most golfers, imho. The only time it's not as useful is when the pin is missing or non-standard size.

Re:Could be useful to golfers (2, Informative)

Jaywalk (94910) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241233)

There are several devices for this, from the $20 monocular to a $300 laser rangefinder.
Yeah, but this thing checks the incline as well. It's a lot different hitting to a green that's a few feet above you to one that's a few feet below. On the down side, the site says the range of the laser is only 100 meters, so its current form would be pretty useless for golf.

Re:Could be useful to golfers (3, Informative)

CrankyFool (680025) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241092)

Hand-held optical devices that measure distance have been around for a while -- I have the Bushnell Yardage Pro 500 which lets me get a distance reading up to about 1000 yds. Hell, Bushnell makes range finders specifically for golfers.

The only problem with these that I've found is that you need some decent flat surface perpendicular to the laser to reflect it -- so trying to laze, say, a building works pretty well, but trying to laze the flag on the green would be problematic (and I've had issues trying to laze some mammals and such at longer distances when trying to set my sights).

Re:Could be useful to golfers (1)

TigerNut (718742) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241361)

So tape a golf pin to the moose, and then you can use your BYP500.

Detail level (1, Informative)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241006)

and the built-in digital camera captures images of up to 1280 x 1024 pixels

Thats only a little higher that 1MP. Don't the GIS surveys need more detail than that?

Re:Detail level (1)

mobiux (118006) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241307)

Our GIS dept just bought the latest Sony 5mp camera.
They are replacing some 3mp's to get the higher detail.

Re:Detail level (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241309)

No.

one size doesnt fit all (2, Informative)

io-waiter (745875) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241391)

Well yes and no, depending of type of surveying you are doing. I think that its impossible to find one handheld today that is an useful tool for all type of survey work. Most surveying use aerial photos as a base, unless they are corrections or add-ons to old maps, or based on magnetical, sonar, radar or other obscure methods. So photos taken by the survey man himselfs are often of interesting details, but 1024x768 seems low (even if it has good optics)
Geological surveying
-Soil, large screen needed, can be done from cars, editing directly onto map.
-Bedrock or any large boulders what youre after you want good GPS accuray, easy data input (text) and a nice camera.
-Chemical/water surveying, data input device with nice GPS.
Economical
-dGPS or better is needed.
General factors
-Precision, dGPS is an bonus in many cases but a must in few, good GPS reception will do in most cases ( few handheld/gps combos has that)
-Price, most heavy duty, waterproof super handheld thingies cost 6x an ipaq with GPS...
-Another tool

/IO-waiter

Still... (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241017)

Ike is a handheld data capture device that integrates GPS, an electronic compass, a laser distance meter, an inclinometer, a digital camera, and a Pocket PC 2003 handheld in a single unit, ideal for GIS and other surveys."

Still, it's missing a wasabi dispenser.

GIS? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241018)

How is this good for Google Image Search? ;o

GPS not accurate enough (5, Informative)

plcurechax (247883) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241023)

GPS, Differential GPS, and WAAS isn't accurate enough for high quality survey work. All of these of limited accuracy of more 1 meter, whereas any decent survey should measure error hopefully less than 10 millimeters.

Re:GPS not accurate enough (1)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241091)

And what do you think that GIS specialists use? You think that they are using personal-use GPSs? Get real.

I was given a demonstration of what they had back in 1994 when I was a Scout. They were accurate to the size of a dime (and that long before SA was turned off and WAAS was available -- so they are obviously not hampered by the scrambled signals).

Re:GPS not accurate enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241173)

BS. I USED professional grade GPS in 1994 for GIS, and I can tell you that they were not accurate down to a dime at that time. Even with differential correction we were only able to get about +/- 1 meter, which is just fine for our purposes, but not for land surveying.

Re:GPS not accurate enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241105)

True, but for the average nerd just using the thing for geocaching [geocaching.com] , I dont forsee any problems... except maybe complaints of back and foot pain from that thing.. whats it called, uh... exer..cise?

Re:GPS not accurate enough (1)

Daz3d (669004) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241141)

What about when that more accurate Galileo GPS thing comes out?

Re:GPS not accurate enough (4, Informative)

addie (470476) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241169)

Perhaps for engineering survey work, but for geological mapping, this tool would be a god-send. 1 meter accuracy is more than enough to get a general idea of the lay of a formation. A notebook would still be necessary to take down strike/dip measurements, but those could then be easily correlated to the GIS info back at the camp. The digital camera could also be useful for keeping track of variations in color, consolidation, weathering features, etc on samples in a formation.

Re:GPS not accurate enough (1)

WhiteBandit (185659) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241453)

I agree for the most part. However, I don't know if I'd want to take something like this out in the field. Dust/Rain/Mud/Trees are no match for your Brunton, but I'd be hesitant to get down and dirty with this.

Another plus is that if my Brunton somehow goes tumbling down a cliff, it should still work. What will happen if I accidentially drop this All-In-One device when trying to get dip on an outcrop that is on a cliff?

Re:GPS not accurate enough (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241286)

any decent survey should measure error hopefully less than 10 millimeters.

Wow, that's really an uninformed statement.

There are plenty of apps where low-res is appropriate.

In my line (wildlife biology/gis), it is rare to require anything higher than 1 m resolution. And really, the datasets we use most commonly are 28.5 m res.

I'll buy one myself (2, Funny)

Jotaigna (749859) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241024)

when they manage to shrink them to the size of Derek Zoolander's Mobile Phone.

Oh no... (4, Funny)

nick0909 (721613) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241025)

"Ike is a Pocket PC running [...] Bluetooth."

I hope Nokia didn't help them with the Bluetooth code.

Open Source, its Pros and Cons (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241030)

Folks, can we finally just admit once and for all that Open Source lacks a central quality control mechanism and is therefore totally buggy?

Too much real-world value (4, Interesting)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241032)

I'm afraid this gadget has too much real-world application to be of interest to the geek crowd.

We just bought a few acres of land, and this device would have been the ideal tool for the surveyor. It's clear from the discrepancies between the survey drawing and the aerial views [dfwmaps.com] that the surveyor made his measurements, wrote them down, then made his drawing from his notes. The numbers are right, but the outlines of the buildings aren't quite where they should be.

This device, plus a windoze PC with appropriate software, will let the surveyor simply walk to the survey points, point & shoot, hotsync, and print. It's just what the surveyor needs to do his/her job.

So it's obviously too useful to be a geek toy.

Re:Too much real-world value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241130)

Don't know too much about distortion and aerial photography, (or surveying for that matter) do you?

Re:Too much real-world value (1)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241171)

Don't know too much about distortion and aerial photography, (or surveying for that matter) do you?

Duh. This is Slashdot. If I had a clue what I was talking about, I would have to recuse myself from the discussion. :)

Re:Too much real-world value (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241238)

too bad you had to use "windoze" in your post - otherwise I'd be inclined to take you seriously regardless of your apparent ignorance about the topic at hand.

from my parent's basement in Wisconsin, indeed.

I can't wait... (1)

dfn5 (524972) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241037)

... to play with this while driving down the highway.

Getting close, but not there yet (1)

Animats (122034) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241038)

This is good enough for rough surveys, but not good enough to allow collecting random images, locating them in space, and building 3D models. Another generation or two, and the expensive tripod-mounted Reigl scanners used for model-building will be replaced by handheld devices.

Great combo... (2, Funny)

jwthompson2 (749521) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241042)

So now I will be able to find exactly where I want to hike up the mountain, be able to know which way I am going, know exactly how far I am from the top, tell how close to verticle I am approaching, take photos as I approach the summit and then have company that will understand me when I trip and crash and go tumbling down said mountain.

WTF MATE (1, Offtopic)

sudotcsh (95997) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241045)

Jesus, it takes all that hardware just to do a Google image search nowadays? Talk about bloat ...

hmmm (2, Funny)

netfall (721323) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241047)

sounds like something made by swiss army. all it needs now is a magnifying glass and a toothpick.
on a serious note, the perfect addition to the features on this would be cell phone. and wifi. i decided i'm going to wait out on getting a new cell phone until it does absolutely everything i want (no, not need - want).

wardriving... (2, Interesting)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241054)

This is especially useful for wardriving and warflying...

See here [agentgreen.org] .

I never found my PocketPC all that great for usage w/the GPS (I am using PocketPC 2002 though). I have constant stability issues and in the extreme temps we experience here (it got down to -22 without windchill in January) the PocketPCs just don't hold up well enough.

Sounds like a plowshare. (3, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241055)

This sounds like a civilian version of the GPS/lidar/etc/binoculars recently used by the military for spotting targets for artillery and other attack missions.

Look at the target, center the crosshairs, read the *target's* GPS co-ordinates (or dump them into the battle net).

Wow! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241064)

Add a gas spectrometer and you have a tricorder!

Beam me up scotty!

Evil Man

Re:Wow! (1)

pixas (711468) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241144)

nhaaa.. to be a tricorder it has to make funny noises for no reason and flash lots of leds in mysterious ways ;-)

Wow... (1)

CompressedAir (682597) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241094)

We would have loved that at the geophysics job I had right after college.

There's probably a much bigger market for this device than most people think.

Survey Says... (1)

l0ungeb0y (442022) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241099)

I imagine this might come in handy for consensus surveys.
Take a picture of the person who signs your petition/donates to your organization, get their photograph and GPS position recorded in a database.

AND SELL ALL THE DATA TO THE MATRIX PROJECT
MUAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAHHAHHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes... yes... indeed.
Time to screw my tinfoil cap on a tad bit tighter now.

Could have used one of these at the SuperBowl... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241110)

could have taken a picture of Janet Jackson's breast and documented the time, exact location, inclination, direction and the exact distance from "the breast" to my seat with the range finder. The exact answer to "where were you when the "wardrobe malfunction" occured"...

Its not new (2, Informative)

fozzylyon (696418) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241111)

It sounds like the old P40ES system that county and state surveyors have been using for over a decade. A co-worker was even involved in the P40's developement and said that it was a simple task of relaying the opt signal to the three receivers (compass, inclinometer, ld meter). The only NEW developement I see here is the "digitality" of the compass and the addition of the digital camera. Besides that though, I doubt that its worth the retraining of a personnel who are adept at working with the previous equipment. If there had been a need for this device, SURE. But our tax dollars shouldn't be spent on the latest and greatest if it isn't an improvement.

cost? (1)

tsmccaff (683906) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241117)

Does this thing have a pricetag yet? Couldn't seem to track down an amount.

Military Applications (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241123)

I have always said that a pair of binoculars with all theses features plus a wireless modem or some sort would be an effective utility for the military. It would make it easier for combat controls to send target information to strike aircraft.

Heck you make it better you can give the average solider a 2000 lb hand grenade.

Re:Military Applications (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241166)

And you don't think we - oops, I mean they - have it already? Don't mind that black helicopter landing on your lawn, it's for your own protection...

Re:Military Applications (1)

PPGMD (679725) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241421)

Because no one I know in the Air Force (the major force that would deploy it first) has heard of it.

I already have my tin foil hat on, so no worries about the black helicopters they can't find me.

Real neat but expensive! (4, Informative)

JGski (537049) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241170)

$12K a pop! That won't be on my Christmas list for a while. I'm sure people will whip up an open-source clone project. Interestingly this a lot like something I "invented" as a teen (on paper anyway, I still have the drawings in my garage)! I won't give away my age, except to say that was more than one patent life ago. :-)

BTW, the secret to finding prices on a web site for products that "don't list price" is to check the press releases - reporters tend to ignore press leads that don't have an estimated price. It would not look good with readers to present rave article for a product none of them can afford or budget for.

Re:Real neat but expensive! (3, Informative)

Hartree (191324) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241242)

I think that's NZ dollars, so it's about $8400 US. Still pretty pricey.

Re:Real neat but expensive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241301)

I think you'll find that is 12K NZ$, which at the moment is around 8K US$ (normally would be closer to 7K)

Dear Dad (4, Funny)

mikeophile (647318) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241185)

Thanks for giving this neat gadget for Christmas. I thought I'd send you this email from it to let you know how it's working out. As you can tell from the coordinates, I'm backpacking in the Alaskan wilderness. It's great here. Just me and nature. I've never done any camping this ambitious, but with this toy how can I go wrong? Here's some pictures. Isn't it beautiful? Oh look! There's a bear and some cubs a couple hundred yards away. Here's some pictures. Hold on, I'll let you know exactly how far away with the laser rangefinder. The big one is precisely 220.6 meters away. This is so cool! Oh now it moving. Now it's 190.2 meters away. Make that 153.6 meters. It's hard to beleive something that big could move so fast. 98 meters now. Hmmmm, I don't suppose I'm irritating the bear by shining this laser in it's eyes? It's 46 meters away now. I should probably go. I love you Dad. Tell Mom I lov...

<NO CARRIER>

war-walking (2, Interesting)

goalive (729667) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241244)

This sounds like the ideal device for handheld wardriving or 'war-walking'. With some open source software from handhelds.org [handhelds.org] for the PocketPC, thanks to Jim Gettys and his team, the Kismet wireless and a host of open source tools, you've got the basics. The integrated GPS and the laser distance meter then give you almost everything you'd need to start finding wireless networks, map then, and publish the results on the Internet. Wait! See someone suspicious coming towards you? Just put the device into your pocket and walk away, or enjoy the sight of birds on the rooftops or the shape of the fluffy clouds.


Aside from the included hardware, just add a WiFI card with the Prism II chipset and the homemade antenna of your choice, and you're off to the races. This is the first all-in-one handheld wardriving unit I've heard of.

Real Estate maybe but not professional survey (2, Informative)

mr_lithic (563105) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241264)

This would be perfect for real estate agents who need to combine their pda's and electronic distance measurers but it seems a little imprecise and lightweight for real survey work.

The title of top survey data collector is still the HP-48GX [johann-sandra.com] .

When we ran survey we would try to grab the tripod with the HP-48 bracketed on it. This little data collector would make our lives easier, reduce the overall time for the survey and increase the time in the pub. All very good things.

HP-48GX - Good data bucket and a good deal cheaper than the grand that Topcon and such want for their Data Collection handhelds.

Spock, give me that! (1)

KE1LR (206175) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241288)

Sounds like a another stab at a tricorder [stim.com] to me.

Too bad the company that made it (a Canadian company called Vital Technologies) has gone under, apparently it really worked!

Xbox rules!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241302)

first post!!! you lame assholes... I can post first because my XBox is a american product and my pride in my great country and my great XBox accelerate everything...

If only they would make games for that bitch... IAve played Metroid Prime and it ruled... I hope M$ will buy those japanese bastards and port Metroid to my great american console system!!!

They forgot... (1)

Le'BottomEh (750785) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241312)

to integrate a cell phone into that gadget

Battery Life (2, Funny)

tr0llb4rt0 (742153) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241314)

MMM I wonder how far it is to that rock

points range finder

Pocket pc is shutting down ....

D'Oh!

Another integrated unit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241325)

Trimble Navigation sells a high accuracy Windows CE device, GeoXT [trimble.com]
Designed for rugged work & completely integrated. Focussed more on submeter GPS, but can be attached to laser rangefinders.

Laser Speed Gun? (2, Insightful)

WorkingHome (250528) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241336)

It would be fun to play around with the laser distance mechanism to see if you could design a speed gun with this thing. I would hope they would allow developers access to the appropriate APIs to allow this. It wouldn't be good for police work, but it would be fun the average consumer. The price needs to come down quite a bit, though.

"ideal for GIS and other surveys" (2, Funny)

flacco (324089) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241338)

...and for targeting mortars.

I not like (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241347)

these may be a usefull gadget but i don't like because it runs windoze and is from M$. is probably another evil plan by M$ to take over the world and kill teh penguinns and stuff.

it probably crash and with a blue screen and stuff. hahahah!!! i so funny!!! hahahahahah.

maybe GNU can make gadget like thiss???? call it GNU/GPSLaserRangeFiner. i buy from GNU/Gadget butt not from teh evil M$. actually i no buy from GNU either unless its teh GPL and is free.

plz do not buy teh gadget, it is teh evil.

ok, mod me up......... thx. im insightful or interesting.

Battery Life? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#8241413)

well? lets say you link this thing to a laptop, feeding it coordinates and range data, and photos via bluetooth?
I give it, 15 minutes.

Perfect for Geocaching! (2, Interesting)

Coaster-Sj (614973) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241444)

If they could bring the price down these would be perfect for Geocaching [geocaching.com] ! I'm drooling at the thought. It would be easy to write some software to allow you to upload a GPX file and then have the unit load all the waypoints and be able to display the cache info. Anyone want to donate $12000 for me to test it?

This is no *Pocket* PC (2, Insightful)

Serious Simon (701084) | more than 10 years ago | (#8241462)

It's huge and heavy: 260mm x110mm x 70mm weighing more than a kilogram. Not something you would put in a pocket, and only to be "handheld" for a short time.
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