Garmin buys DeLorme satellite texting and navigation company

Garmin announces plans to purchase Maine-based DeLorme, which designs and markets consumer satellite tracking devices.

Garmin recently announced its plans to purchase Maine-based DeLorme, a company that designs and markets consumer-based satellite tracking devices with two-way communication and navigation capabilities.

“DeLorme is a respected brand with exciting products and technologies that are a natural fit in the Garmin portfolio,” said Cliff Pemble, Garmin’s president and CEO. “We look forward to completing the acquisition and welcoming them onto our team. We are looking forward to leveraging their expertise to further enhance the Garmin lineup of products.”

Navigation industry leader, DeLorme, has been involved in the many technological advances in the mapping industry over the past 30 years. Starting first with paperback Atlas and Gazetteers, the company went on to explore CD-ROM mapping products and introduce the first product capable of creating automatic routing. Fast-forward to 2011 when DeLorme launched the inReach Satellite Communicator. This was the first personal satellite communication device for two-way text messaging via satellites.

Several generations later, the newest inReach GPS-enabled devices allow the user to send and receive satellite text messages or trigger an SOS for emergency help, anywhere in the world. In addition to inReach, DeLorme has an extensive library of digital cartography and enterprise GIS software, as well as traditional mapping.

“Our inReach technology is invaluable to hikers, hunters, boaters, and pilots who often find themselves in remote areas — Garmin’s core customers. We are looking forward to completing the acquisition and are excited to help leverage our expertise into enhancing their already outstanding products,” said Michael Heffron, CEO of DeLorme. “Garmin has extensive R&D capabilities and a global distribution network that will allow us to provide this technology to customers across many markets and around the world.”

Should we be watching for satellite texting options on the next Garmin 1000 cycling computer? Probably not. But we could see Garmin’s backcountry computers like the Edge Touring Plus getting some new features, tracking technology, and satellite texting options soon.