Garmin has announced the first product to come from its acquisition of Tri-Tronics last year: The Garmin Alpha, a Track and Train system.
This integrated system combines GPS tracking from Garmin with Tri-Tronics dog training methods. With a range of up to 9 miles (depending on terrain), Alpha delivers the exact location of up to 20 dog collars as often as every 2.5 seconds. With the new geofence feature, owners can now be alerted when their dogs cross out of a pre-determined zone, which helps owners maintain peace of mind and helps keeps dogs safer. Users can also track fellow Alpha 100 users (up to 20) from a single handheld monitor, allowing parties to stay in touch while covering a wide area.
The Alpha 100 will come preloaded with Topo US 100K mapping, which contains elevation changes, coastlines and more. Users can add the optional BirdsEye Satellite Imagery for a higher-resolution view of their surroundings.
While the Alpha is similar to the Astro, another dog tracking product from Garmin, they will not be able to communicate with each other. They also differ in that the Alpha offers remote correction for training purposes, a large sunlight-readable touchscreen, can monitor up to 20 dogs (vs. 10 on the Astro), and includes buddy tracking. Depending on the needs of users, either product may be suitable, as they both transmit and receive position information for up to 9 miles.
Due to the 5 watt output this product will not be available for sale in Canada until 2014, when Industry Canada lifts the ban on electronics transmitting over 2 watts. The US market should see this unit hit the shelves in August of 2012.