Coming Soon: SPOT for your Smartphone

Some time ago I wrote a post about the SPOT GPS device and it’s partnering with the DeLorme Earthmate PN-60. Now SPOT have announced the new SPOT connect for Smartphones.

SPOT Connect™ turns leading smartphones into a personal one-way satellite communicator capable of sending messages with GPS position to personal contacts, social networks or to summon help in emergencies from remote areas beyond cellular coverage

Now this is a great idea. A SPOT for your smartphone would be great for geocaching in remote areas. I know my wife would love to keep track of my whereabouts when I’m out of cell range!

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 most interesting thing for me in the above list is ability for the SPOT to provide GPS functionality to non-GPS devices. Given most phones these days are coming with inbuilt GPS this might not seem like a big deal but there is an opportunity here for a potentially superior GPS in the SPOT to solve the issue of inferior accuracy and reception in the smartphones. Whilst I might argue that my Blackberry Bold 9000 has awesome reception under heavy cover and seems as accurate as most decent GPSr’s this is probably not the same for other smartphones. As such, smartphones are derided by GPS traditionalists. But by using the SPOT it may propel the humble smartphone into the realm of legitimate GPSr.

Okay, probably not, but us smartphones users can dream right!?

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  1. Tweets that mention Coming Soon: SPOT for your Smartphone | Its Not About The Numbers -- Topsy.com

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by CraigRat, Peter Walker. Peter Walker said: Coming Soon: SPOT for your Smartphone http://goo.gl/fb/l6dnq #geocaching […]

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