Harken Derm

Gadgets that keep us within reach

Published on July 25th, 2019

by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
When Robin Knox-Johnston set off in 1968 to sail solo, non-stop around the world, he had no contact with the outside world. For 8 ½ months the only interaction was when sighted from the shore or by a solitary ship. There was no means of communication and no way to tell anyone if the boat got into trouble.

While Robin completed the circumnavigation to become the first person to achieve the accomplishment, such an endeavor today may get you arrested. For better or worse, society struggles to cut the cord, and likely a result of this is how explorers now rely too often on pushing a button for rescue rather than preparing for self- preservation.

So that’s the new reality, so I was enlightened to learn about the new SPOT X and how it was feeding this need for connection. Here are the details I was sent:


SPOT X is a compact, rugged two-way satellite tracker and messenger that is ideal for anyone whose sport, adventurous spirit or wanderlust takes them to locations with unreliable, unstable or non-existent mobile phone network coverage.

If you have an accident or other emergency, SPOT provides a one-touch lifeline with either SOS emergency rescue or the ability to alert friends or family that you need help.

New SPOT X two-way satellite communications device is the latest generation of the popular SPOT family of products from satellite industry pioneer Globalstar.

SPOT X offers full two-way SMS and email as well as GPS tracking and a one-touch SOS button that instantly sends the user’s GPS location to the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Centre (IERCC) over Globalstar’s reliable, next-generation Low Earth Orbit satellite network. The IERCC then transmits details to local first responders – anywhere in the world – to dispatch help to the user’s precise location.

SPOT X is the only satellite messenger on the market to give users a permanent phone number, easy check-in function and a full, backlit QWERTY keypad for intuitive typing. SPOT X also offers the industry’s longest battery life in both tracking and SOS modes.

SPOT X enables users to stay connected with emergency services, colleagues, friends and family even when beyond mobile networks’ reach. It features:

• TEXT AND EMAIL – Send and receive 140-character text messages and short emails with any mobile phone number or email address
• LONG-LASTING BATTERY LIFE – Rechargeable Lithium battery averages a battery life of 10 days when tracking at 10-minute intervals
• COMPACT – Lightweight at 198g, 166mm length x 74mm width x 44mm depth
• KEYBOARD AND DISPLAY – Easy-to-use illuminated QWERTY keyboard that is usable in any light setting with generous 69mm backlit display
• RUGGED – Impact-, dust-, and water-resistant (IP67)
• SOS – Direct two-way text communication with search and rescue services
• TRACK – Tracks progress at intervals of 2½, 5, 10, 30, or 60 minutes and shares location on easy-to-read Google Maps
• CHECK IN – Sends your contacts an “OK” message with a single push of a button
• POST TO SOCIAL – Link your accounts to keep your friends and family in-the-know wherever you go
• COMPASS – Built-in compass and waypoints aid navigation
• ELEVATION – Includes altitude in messages

SPOT devices provide peace of mind by enabling users to remain in contact completely independent of mobile GSM coverage. SPOT has initiated 6,500 rescue callouts worldwide, many of which were life-saving.

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