Saturday, 16 October 2010

Garmin Chirp vs. Wherigo

Garmin announced the introduction of Chirp yesterday. Chirp is a little beacon used for geocaching and quite similar with a hidden zone in Wherigo. Instead of rephrasing the original post here, just have a look at the short video or check this blog:

So it is a nice gadget and I will give it a try (just ordered two from REI).The question is what makes it different from a Wherigo cartridge beside the fact that it is a physical waypoint?
First of all Chirp works with more GPSr than Wherigo. If you switch to the German Garmin site you can see the devices supported:

Dakota 20, Oregon 300/400t/450/450t/550/550t, GPSMAP 62s/62st, GPSMAP 78s

so there is some potential for this little bug. On the other hand all the devices which work with Wherigo like the iPhone, Windows Mobile and Android don't work.Speaking of working: Wherigo is has never reached a real stable version. With some custom builders you can make it work but that's a long and painful process. I did create a wherigo nightcache but it took a while until all major bugs were gone.Covert knows what I am talking about.
Anyway - with a Wherigo you can set-up a so called hidden zone which is in terms of functionality pretty similar to a Chirp: You don't see anything on your GPSr until you enter the zone. Now you have all the possibilities the Wherigo environment offers but then again all the hassle with programming, bugs and downloading the cartridge before you leave the house, is not much fun.

Chirp is an easy but not so powerful and more over not so cheap alternative to that concept. Let's see when they arrive and what I can do with them.


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