Solar powered tablet helps hikers survive backcountry

(WXYZ) - Sometimes staying connected to the world means making sure all of your electronic devices are charged and ready to go.

But if you're hitting the trails, those smartphones and laptops may not be able to handle the harsh conditions.

Now, Earl, the first ever solar tablet for surviving in the backcountry, may become your new favorite hiking buddy.

Earl was designed by a creative architect from Seattle to work in the most remote locations and harshest conditions.

A solar panel on the back of the device can keep it going strong for up to 20 hours.

The tablet is Andoid-based with an E-ink screen and GPS, weather sensor and radio communication technology.

The two-way radio feature that allows people to signal for rescue in case there's a problem, according to the project's website.

It also claims to be water, dust, shock and mud proof.

The tablet founders are asking for some Crowdfunding support for development, but say the units will likely be in backers' hands by this August.

If you become a project backer, you can actually get the unit for $249--a discounted amount from what the retail cost will be.

For more information on Earl, check out their website: http://www.meetearl.com/

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