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Cambridge Design Partnership develops new GPS handheld


By Mike Scialom


Satmap Active 20 from Cambridge Design Partnership
Satmap Active 20 from Cambridge Design Partnership

All-weather device ready for adventure

The Satmap Active 2 is created by Cambridge Design Partnership
The Satmap Active 2 is created by Cambridge Design Partnership

The Satmap Active 20, an all-weather GPS gadget ideal for the adventurous, has gone on sale with prices starting at £395.

Designed by technology and product design firm Cambridge Design Partnership (CDP), the groundbreaking handheld sports GPS device is ideal for navigation in extreme environments where users may be wearing thick gloves and demand extended periods of operation. The wireless capability also improves safety by allowing expedition team members to share their locations.

The range was developed along guidelines provided by Satmap Systems, who are retailing the product.

“Our first step was to gain human factors insights and gather customer feedback from previous models to feed into the design process,” said Mike Beadman, one of CDP’s founding partners. “Our industrial design team then worked to maintain and enhance the brand, while our engineers integrated the new functionality and developed the mechanical design to meet the extreme requirements of Satmap customers.”

Proof-of-concept test rigs ensured the new device achieved an IP68 waterproof rating – meaning it can be underwater for 30 minutes at depths of up to 1.5m. And the custom Gorilla Glass touchscreen within the ultra-rugged case design exceeds US military MIL-STD-810G drop-test specification and IK7 grading in impact tests – demonstrating it can withstand a 500g steel ball dropped from a height of 400mm.

In the UK, the Active 20 – which has no camera or phone capability – is offered in bundles priced £395-£690 and German, Swiss and Austrian editions will soon be available too.

CDP has been making such devices since 2007.

The new device was designed to offer new advanced features without compromising the existing ones and potentially work across other products in the firm’s Active range that may target new markets in addition to the traditional customer base of professional military users, mountain rescue personnel and mountain biking and hiking enthusiasts.

Located in both Toft and in Palo Alto, California, CDP specialises in the consumer products, healthcare, energy and industrial equipment markets.



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