For my birthday Lori got me a SPOT, which is as much for her as for me. So what is a SPOT? It stands for Satellite Personal Tracker. The device allows you to do the following, as long as you have a clear view of the sky:
- Send an “I’m OK” message to up to 5 email addresses or text message devices (cell phones)
- Send an “I need help” message
- Send a 911 message
- Track your progress using Google maps (optional service)
Since a lot of my motorcycle riding is solo, out on very remote roads this adds a bit of security that I could be found should the bike breakdown, I crash, or I’m abducted by bigfoot. The fact that it works off of satellite means that even if I’m out of cell phone range, I can at least let Lori know I’m OK or that I need help. A separate button is reserved for placing a 911 call. It won’t say what the problem is, but the local rescue agency will be provided with your exact coordinates. Think of all the people you’ve heard in the news lately that would still be alive had they had one of these devices. It’s not foolproof, but for the $149 initial cost and the $99/year service fee, it is well worth it. There are still some bugs to be worked out in their service but it’s a brand new device so I expect that it will only get better with time.