Sunday, March 18, 2012

UPDATED: Garmin Monterra and Virb coming this year?

Garmin Monterra Garmin Virb

A sneak peek at some new Garmin devices?

UPDATE: There is an Amazon page for the Monterra that lists it as a 4″ unit with WiFi, 1080p video, and an Android OS with the ability to use Android apps — opening the door to app developers creating  “new outdoor-centric apps.” The MSRP is shown as $699.99. 

Here’s a couple of new Garmin trademark filings that may interest our audience. The Garmin Monterra (a possible Montana successor?) is billed as a…

GPS device incorporating altimeters, compasses, accelerometers, gyroscope, GLONASS navigation system, video and still image cameras, FM and weather radio receivers, sensors for determination of sun burning portion of the UV spectrum, and a wireless communication device featuring data and image transmission.

This makes a lot of sense in terms of adding new features for a flagship handheld.

Meanwhile, the Garmin Virb filing seems to put the company in the standalone camera business:

Cameras incorporating GPS data, altimeter, barometer, accelerometer, GPS tracking device, and transceiver to allow communication with other electronic devices; camera mounts and supports; camera cases.

This one is more questionable. Sure, GPS cameras are hot among the professional and prosumer camera crowd, but will those buyers really choose a first-generation Garmin camera over a Nikon or Canon? On the other hand, what if it is a camera that incorporates a fully functional GPS navigator? That might make a bit more sense in terms of being able to tap into Garmin’s existing markets.

Your thoughts?

Via Groundspeak

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. The Monterra sounds interesting… a connected version of the Montana? But for $700, I’m gonna have to pass. I can’t ever remember wishing that I could watch HD video on my GPS before. 😀

    OTOH, in a few years and we might be able to get them for $80 bucks at blowout, like the Garminfone that became the Nuvi 295w. 😉

    • Also, I know you have been predicting Android based devices for some time now. Trimble has recently introduced some units in the ~$1500 range with either Android or Windows Mobile on the same hardware. I have it on pretty good authority that Magellan will soon introduce some Android based outdoor/handhelds too.

  2. My thoughts are that I look forward to finding out more before I make up my mind.

  3. Pythagoras says:

    My thoughts?

    Garmin needs to get products like this out ASAP before other players – or new companies – beat them to it.

  4. Really! I suspect the market for $700 GPS’es might be pretty limited. Granted, I paid about $1000 for my StreetPilot 2620, but that was around 2003, before these things became commodities.

    Now if the Monterra is Android based, that means that it’s really just an Android application, right? That raises the possibility that Garmin could sell the software separately so we could run it on our own devices, like a tablet with a big screen. That would really interest me.

    But they probably won’t do that because they’re mainly a hardware company. 🙁

  5. I’m really struggling to see the point of the Monterra. It looks like an Android device that’s comparable in screen size to a smartphone but presumably a lot thicker, and doesn’t make calls. Why not just use a smartphone, and give it the same level of weather proofing with one of many cheap cases, and extend the battery life with one of many cheap USB power packs?

    • You could certainly do that. The Monterra’s other benefits would include the full range of Garmin navigation options, the ability to use Garmin-compatible maps, and probably a better GPS-antenna. Regarding your proposed alternative – you would probably need an integrated solution – a ruggedized case that included a battery pack.

  6. Boyd Ostroff says:

    Hey RIch,

    Did you notice that your link to the Amazon page no longer works? And a search for “Garmin Monterra” at Amazon came up empty….

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