Depending on just how uncharted the territory, preparation for an outdoor adventure can involve throwing any number of gadgets in your pack before you set out. A GPS device for finding your way around in the day, a flashlight for finding your way around in the night and perhaps a walkie talkie for when you're lost may all be part of the toolkit. Startup Fogo Digital has just launched a Kickstarter campaign for a modular, multi-purpose flashlight that squeezes functions like these into a single pocket-sized device, aimed at lightening the load when you're headed into the wilderness.
Billing it as a "digital Swiss Army knife," the developers of Fogo have sought to cater to a range of scenarios that might pop up when outdoors. The body of the 1,000 lumen LED flashlight packs such a range of features that it almost borders on excessive. These include a GPS display and digital compass that track your coordinates, and digital voice and text messaging through which you can communicate with other Fogo owners.
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Then there's the ability to set navigation waypoints via a paired smartphone and configure the flashlight to start blinking if you wander off course. There is also a 6,800 mAh backup battery accessed via a USB port, a pedometer, ambient light sensor for adaptive brightness and an app-based operating system with a 128 MB of onboard storage. The OS is operated by way of three buttons and comes with number of apps installed, such as those for the flashlight, maps and messaging, but the company hopes to tap into the developer community to further expand its possibilities by way of a Fogo SDK.
The bottom end of the flashlight bears Fogo's so-called SmartCap Interface, which is a USB/UART/5V Power port designed to extend its hardware capabilities even further. At launch, the flashlight will ship with the walkie talkie attachment, though this can be swapped out for other modules if need be. Other SmartCaps that the company is preparing to unveil include a a satellite modem, laser rangefinder and an avalanche beacon.
The Fogo team also touts the device's ability to serve as a bicycle computer. Slap it on your handlebars and an array of sensors track your speed, elevation and distance traveled, while pairing it with a fitness tracking smartphone apps over Bluetooth can keep tabs on things like your heart rate and calories burned. The company says it will launch with two mount adapters, one compatible with the Garmin mounting system and one compatible with the GoPro mounting system.
Early pledges of US$175 are available, while throwing another $50 on top will also put you in line for one of the walkie talkie SmartCaps. Sure, this isn't exactly cheap for a flashlight, but if the versatility of the Fogo means you can strike a couple of extra gadgets off the pre-camping shopping list then it may prove a wise investment. The company is looking to raise $125,000, with more than $8,000 pledged at the time of writing. Shipping is slated for September 2015 if the campaign runs as planned.
You can check out the promo video below.