Monday, May 26, 2008

SPOT in my Kit

I just received my Fathers Day present. After a few months of listening to reviews and weighing my options in the personal locater beacon market, I decided to get a SPOT satellite personal tracker/messenger.

The message options available with this unit include:
1. "I'm OK" (To my contacts)
2. "I NEED HELP" (To my contacts)
3. "911 - I NEED HELP" (To Rescue Agencies)
4. "Spot Casting" - A GPS report, every 10 minutes, that is viewable using a Google Map web site.

The messages go to my contacts (as many as 10) using SMS to their cell phones or email. The SPOT website lists all the specs, but the reasons I went with the SPOT was its price ($150) and low subscription fee for the services. In addition, a year of GEOS Search & Rescue Benefit for $7.95/yr USD (if purchased at initial activation. $150.00 USD afterwards) provides up to $100,000 USD of additional search and rescue resources, including helicopter extraction around the world and reimbursement benefits – underwritten by Lloyd’s of London – for any emergency service expenses incurred. For more information, including terms and conditions, visit

I tested the unit a bit this week while commuting to SFO from home to fly a trip to Sydney. It Spotcasted the 200 mile drive to work and displayed it on the Google map site. I also sent a "Down OK" message while I was sipping a pint at The Lord Nelson Pub in Sydney -

click for larger photo
Needless to say, this unit is a convenience to signal I'm down OK when cellphone service isn't available, and a necessity, should I ever need a rescue. Cheap insurance, in my opinion.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Enjoy your SPOT Tim. I have one too. Do you have your personal tracking web page set up? It's a new feature in the SHARE section of your profile. It'd allow the world to watch you while flying at the comps.

I have your blog feed going to so I hope you blog lots while at the event.