A new, high-tech device may be a convenient way for outdoor enthusiasts or campers to ensure their safety in any conditions. The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger provides individuals with a virtual line of communication wherever they are, even when out of cell phone service range.
The small, handheld unit uses satellite technology to track your location. Several buttons on the SPOT allow users to send different types of messages. One sends a call for emergency help, one sends a call for non-emergency assistance, one sends a check-in message to your network of friends and family with your whereabouts, another allows you to send a customized message to your network and another allows you to track your progress and location using Google Maps.
The units weigh just over 5 ounces and are about the size of a cell phone. The company reminds users that since it tracks location with satellites, the SPOT will work best where there's a clear view of the sky and may not work properly indoors, in a cave or in dense woods.
The SPOT device costs about $100 and is available at camping and outdoor stores as well as online. The company is also offering a $50 rebate until March 31, 2010.