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SPOT LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Globalstar, Inc. (NASDAQ: GSAT).
SPOT Connect provides connectivity to global communication satellites for sending location-based messages from around town or areas outside of cellular phone coverage. By simply downloading the SPOT Connect app, SPOT Connect wirelessly synchs via Bluetooth with smartphone operating systems like Android. SPOT message features are then initiated using the SPOT Connect app on the smart device.
Additional Benefits and features:
- Uses the GPS satellite system to determine location and the Globalstar satellite network to transmit that information to personal contacts or an international emergency response center
- Send location-based messages via satellite to others delivered as SMS text or email
- Send custom “Type and Send” 41 character text messages from your location
- Update social networks including Facebook, Twitter and SPOT Adventures from remote locations
- Provide GPS functionality to non-GPS devices
- Utilize proven SPOT messaging features - Send custom or predefined messages, Track Progress on Google Maps™, or transmit an SOS message in an emergency
- Store up to 10 predefined messages for quick reference and sending
- Create and save contact groups to receive your SPOT Connect message. Each contact group can contain multiple contacts consisting of cell phone numbers and or email addresses
- On device SOS button for standalone emergency operation
- Web & Mobile account management
- Bluetooth wireless connection
- Waterproof to IPX7 standard
- Lightweight at 3.7 ounces, SPOT Connect is portable and can be used handheld or attached to a pack or RAM mounting system
The SPOT Connect app can be downloaded anytime and works when SPOT Connect is registered with SPOT Basic Service and paired with the smart device. SPOT Connect is compatible with some of today’s leading smartphone operating systems such as Android . Additional smartphone compatibility is scheduled for release later this year.
Pricing and Product Availability Information:
SPOT Connect retails $169.99 MSRP plus a required annual subscription service starting at $99.99 per year and is scheduled to begin shipping this January to retail locations and online sites specializing in GPS, outdoor recreation and personal electronics. For more information on SPOT Connect and other SPOT products and location-based satellite service offerings like SPOT Assist Roadside and BoatUS Towing Services, visit www.findmespot.com
SPOT satellite coverage works around the world, including all of the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia Northern and Central Africa, portions of South America and North-Eastern Asia and hundreds or thousands of miles offshore of these areas.
According to a customer service representative, it works with newer iPhones and iTouch and might soon include the Blackberry. I called to ask if it would work with my bluetooth enabled netbook, but it sounds like this will not be an option and I will have to buy at least an iTouch. I was hoping to connect my netbook on my sailboat to the Spot Connect, use the built in GPS and be able to send short text messages from offshore from alsmost anywhere in the world. It should be very easy for a developer to make a laptop program to emulate the smartphone apps.
Additional charges for custom messages:
I also checked on the messaging costs. The $99.99 per year includes unlimited pre-defined messages. You can predefine up to 15 messages and then select and send them from a menu on your phone. The messages are 41 characters long, bearing in mind that spaces and punctuation are also counted as characters. The following blue text is 41 characters:
To send custom messages on the fly, you would need to pay an additional $29.99 for 100 custom messages or $49.99 for 500 custom messages. One message sent to a group only counts as one message even though there might be several people in the group.
Not bad really when you consider the coverage area, and being able to send from almost anywhere in any country and surrounding waters, without incuring cellphone roaming charges. $169.99 for the spot, $99.99 for the subscription and $49.99 for 500 custom messages. And then of course, you need to have a compatible phone or iTouch.