UPDATE: Now available at Amazon and REI.com
The Garmin chirp was announced this morning — a wireless geocaching beacon designed for multi-stage caches, although it seems to cry out for other uses as well.
Slightly larger than a quarter and weighing in at 1 ounce, the chirp has a one-year battery life and a range of 32 feet. It can transmit hints or coordinates for the next stage of a cache
Wireless-enabled Garmin Dakota, Oregon and GPSMAP 62/78 series units are listed as compatible. The chirp is password protected and provides the owner with stats showing the number of visitors the chirp has recorded.
While I’m sure a number of cache owners will embrace the technology, I can foresee uses by tourism promotion groups, outdoor museums, and event organizers, as well as camps and other groups wanting to publish private caches.
We may see firmware updates later today or the capability could be an Easter egg already buried in a recent update. MSRP is $22.99 and word is that the Garmin chirp is already starting to show up at REI stores.
UPDATE: Here’s the new firmware:
Here’s the full news release.