You know that annoying feeling when you’re at the top of Mount Everest and want to share a picture of the view but can’t because you don’t have a signal? We don’t either, but for those who are frequently in far-flung places, the new Iridium GO! could be a lifesaver. Expected to be available in the second quarter of 2014, Iridium GO! is a portable hotspot that lets up to five of your mobile devices connect to a satellite-backed Wi-Fi network anywhere in the world. Iridium has not released price information yet, but claims it is an affordable solution compared to other options in the market.
Small enough to fit in your pocket, the 4.5 x 3.25 x 1.25-inch device features a flip-up antenna and a built-in display/menu. Turn the GO! on by raising the antenna, and it will automatically connect to the Iridium network. The device will provide a Wi-Fi signal with a radius of 100 feet and is optimized to work with current and new Iridium satellites, which will begin launching in 2015.
Iridium is also offering an API for developers to create programs that make use of the GO!, and already has its own app that lets you make calls, track your usage or send an SOS message. Some development partners who are currently working on GO!-optimized apps include Satcom Direct and Global Marine Networks, who are making in-flight apps and optimized email services for maritime use respectively
The Iridium GO! is also water, shock and dust resistant, so it can take abuse from even the most enthusiastic outdoor adventurers. We can’t tell if the Internet connection provided by Iridium GO! will be fast or slow, but for the Facebook-addict stuck in the middle of the Sahara, GO! should provide some comfort.