There's a cool GPS locator for people skating along the edge of the world now available, and at a reasonable price.
The little gadget is called SPOT, which can track your movements through a constant link to the sats. It's not a telephone. Rather it's got three buttons — OK, HELP and 911.
When you push OK, your family (or whomever you designate) is notified that you're okay; hit HELP, and your designees are nitified that you might need a pick-up; 911 alerts rescuers and gives them your GPS coordinates. The box is $170, with $99 for a year's subscription to the service. I've spent a lot of time way off the grid, and a bix like SPOT would have offered a certain peace of mind. I especially like the fact that the 911 button can send the GPS coordinates...rescuers are very special people...they're putting their lives on the line for you, Anything that makes their jobs easier and safer is, by definition, a good thing. The new product has already resulted in five "saves."
Interestingly enough, the company is headed by an old friend of mine, Dave Biggs, whom I worked with at the world-class consulting firm R.D. Garwood. I also worked with Dave on his book on designing new products in a world-class environment. Obviously, Dave know what he writes about!