What is the SPOT device? It is a hand held personal satellite signaling device. Carry it on your person and send signals to pre-designated people to update your location and situation. It is simple and relatively cheap. There are several types of services to choose from and plans available. The device sends a remote signal to a mark your exact location and a predetermined message via e-mail or text message to a maximum of ten different people. It also has an emergency medical rescue service plan among others. It has separate signal pre-designated message buttons. You have the ability to customize the messages sent out specific to your operation or needs. It is extremely easy to use and operate.
All in one vs. a separate device
SPOT has a stand-alone separate device you carry and attach to your gear. They also have a program licensed from them that you can download into your phone. I’m not a fan of having everything in one device. Although convenient and compact I like redundancy, specifically when it comes to life saving devices. By keeping them separate you have two forms of emergency communication. Remember the guy trapped in the cave in Utah that had to cut off his arm with a “Leatherman” to survive? If your cell phone goes down for whatever reason, you’re out of luck. My Android has are very limited battery time. If you break it or drop it in water you’re done. I have horrible luck electronics and break them with regularity.
Cost and benefits
How much is it and how well does it work? The device costs around $100.00 USD and the basic annual plan is about another $117.00 per year (this year’s cost). We have basic plans and service. There are higher end programs, insurance and several plans to choose from if you have the needed. I purchased my SPOT Device in November 2011. I have used it Central America, Europe, Scandinavia, Israel, hiking, fishing, boating, Kayaking and traveling in numerous states in the USA. I have been extremely satisfied with its performance. I carry it with me to supplement phone calls to loved ones and business associates. Instead of calling I just send out a blast and let them know I arrived safely or give them my current location. I travel in place occasionally where phones signals are weak. I purchased a SPOT for my son who was living in Vietnam and Cambodia for several years. He sent occasional but regular scheduled SPOT reports letting us know his location. It works great as a family safety device. In addition it’s excellent for anyone traveling or working in remote regions. I highly recommend it! You can purchase one for the entire family and issue it out as needed while traveling or adventuring. I use it in this fashion in my business as well numerous associated functions. How much is your life or the life of a loved one worth?
How does it work?
Ok what does this thing look like and how does it work? It’s a small bright orange box device similar in size to a cell phone. It’s small enough to fit into a cargo pocket or phone pouch. On the face there are six buttons which have some different functions. One of the six is a on and off switch. Another is an emergency message that is automatically programed by the company to summon assistance. Go to the SPOT device webpage, login and program in the message you want to send relative to each of the remaining four buttons. Once programmed carry it with you and send out messages as needed and required with the press of a button. They also have a program that constantly and continuously tracks the progress and location of the user. This works well for people traveling alone daily or biking who may be in danger of some health issues. Another method of use we recommend to elderly clients or those with specific medical issues.
Sometimes depending on the environment, you can’t get a signal for an extended period. I found that in a city scape the device has problems linking up and getting a “Sat” signal for long periods of time. You also need a clear overhead cover to get the signal out. Heavy jungle canopy, caves, tall surrounding buildings anything that will block line of sight to the sky will hinder proper function. Sometimes it takes upwards of 20 minutes to get a message out. Also the SPOT is not waterproof and must be protected from moisture. With all that said, I highly recommend the SPOT Device. The SPOT works for basic check-in, location finding and tracking of personnel. A rescue can get really expensive, really quick. If it comes to death or pushing a button and getting a bill, send the bill. Given the option of nothing and being in some of the bad spot, I will take the SPOT. It’s a good idea when not in use, to turn it off, especially if in a pack, rough terrain or lying around. This also allows the battery to last that much longer. The one thing I fear most is false positive activation’s. Several of my contractors use these and we employ them routinely. My device is now one of the earlier models and dated. They have now introduced newer models and improvements. This includes a new Satellite phone for approx. 500.00 USD. Which is amazingly low priced!
I paid full price and purchased these directly from them SPOT over the web. I could go on and on, I recommend you go to their website. I love this product, for too many reasons to list here!
Here’s what the company says
“Anyone who travels by land, sea and air! Since its launch, SPOT’s satellite technology has provided peace of mind by helping initiate more than 2,500 rescues and counting and providing GPS tracking services. Over the past five years, recreational outdoor enthusiasts, athletes, government agency employees, National Geographic explorers and photographers, and researchers are just some of the people that have benefited from using SPOT. As SPOT continues to grow, we remain committed to offering affordable assistance to those who may need it. Now with the new SPOT Trace, everyone can benefit from SPOT’s satellite technology. Track valuable assets and receive a text or email when movement is detected.”
Link to the manufacturers website:
The current price of this device is; $149.95 plus the basic annual plan is $117.00