SPOT Connect - now available for your SMART PHONE!!

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by JohnnyAirtime, Jan 3, 2011.

  1. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Been here awhile

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    STOP... Hold the press.... did you all see this???

    ... and after I just bought the DeLorme PN60W-W/Spot!! :(:


    Spot Connect brings GPS tracking and communication to your Bluetooth phone
    By Darren Murph posted Jan 4th 2011 12:00AM

    [​IMG]

    Like it or not, we're stuck in a world fascinated with convergence, and while Spot's Satellite GPS Messenger did its job well, it still required users to tote around a dedicated, non-integrated, standalone device. Unfortunately, we're still no closer to seeing a mainstream smartphone with a legitimate GPS module within, but Spot's edging ever closer with the Spot Connect. This GPS puck is equipped with a Bluetooth transceiver, enabling it to "sync with smartphone operating systems like Android" when you're too deep in the brush to nab a cellular signal. From there, it'll allow your smartphone to determine location via the Globalstar satellite network, and even transmit that information to personal contacts or an international emergency response center. Users can send location-based texts or emails via satellite, update social networks from remote locations, track progress on Google Maps / My Tracks and store up to ten predefined messages for quick referencing and sending. Just imagine the Foursquare check-ins you could manage with this bad boy! The puck itself is waterproof to an IPX7 standard and weighs just 3.7 ounces, and we're told that more mobile operating systems will be supported "later this year." The Connect will go on sale this month for $169.99, though the services described above will run argonauts $99.99 per year. Full release is after the break.



    Press Release:

    .... You know since I own the DeLorme SPOT device... I'll be checking this out tomorrow with SPOT, as I also own a Droid!! Some say it couldn't be done (check my TT postings and their replies), and now... SPOT is doing it!!! ...if I have to, I'll be returning my DeLorme w/Spot as soon as I get clearance from SPOT themselves that this is fully functional on the DROID as it is with DeLorme (and go back to using my 60CSx full time).

    I'm pumped!!! Stay tuned!!!
    #1
  2. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Been here awhile

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  3. dcstrom

    dcstrom Long timer

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    Maybe I'm not familiar enough with the Spot stuff - but what's the big advantage of this device? Pricing about the same as the standalone Spot, but now you have to have TWO devices to make it work. If either your smartphone or the device itself is not working, you're screwed right?

    I can see there are some connectivity advantages as far as txt messages or sharing location, but seems to me that as a basic safety item you are worse off cos now you have to rely on a working phone as well?

    Trevor
    #3
  4. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Been here awhile

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    Advantage; you can send personal text messages out to specific groups you can choose (one or many). No longer are they 'canned' pre-typed messages, to only a select few.

    Advantage; you can see on your smart phone (or DeLorme GPS - depending on which option you have) if your tracking is working, or your messages are going out. No need to call someone who is front of a PC, and ask... "hey, can you see my track on my shared page?!" ...or "are you getting my texts?!" All of it can be confirmed on your smart phone, as you can SEE the track waypoints and the last outgoing txt, or when it was sent.

    Standalone; you can send 911 messages out (via the one 911 button the 'connect' has) when you only have the "connect" device available (powered up). So no, your not "screwed", but you are limited.
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  5. dcstrom

    dcstrom Long timer

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    Great thanks - so seems like no reason really not to get this if you have a compatible smartphone (funny they make a point of mentioning Android but not iPhone - does that mean no iPhone compatibility? You'd think it would be an obvious one to mention...)

    #5
  6. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Been here awhile

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    ... if your worried about water intrusion on your smart phone, and will be investing in a water-proof-pouch... then it's a no-brainer to purchase.

    When I called, they said it'll be iPhone and Droid compatible. Not sure why it's not posted as such.
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  7. Twohondas

    Twohondas Long timer

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    You can do that now with a smartphone with the existing SPOT by just logging on to the spot site.

    Now lets add some more batteries to the tour list. I wonder how much the BT power requirement will be. Does look interesting though but see no reason to upgrade/lateral move?
    #7
  8. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Been here awhile

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    Yes you can... WITH data service.

    However, when outside of the data world... I'd think that the loss of data to your phone (will remove "maps"), however will still show the 'track' waypoint. Something you cannot do with your smart phone, when it's dumb (so to speak). I'll have to clarify this with SPOT (as my DeLorme does it, but doesn't need any external data comm to show such a waypoint - as it's wireless with the puck itself).
    #8
  9. James Adams

    James Adams n00b

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    Battery life should be reasonable given that it's not constantly sending data back and forth.
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  10. TraumaQueen

    TraumaQueen WW( ;,; )D?

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    I think I'm missing something here.

    WHY would you want to use your phone and the SPOT?

    Does the SPOT have an advantage over the apps on my Android phone? Will it work in places my phone won't?

    Thanks for any insight y'all can offer. I'm still learning!
    #10
  11. GotMojo?

    GotMojo? Long timer

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    Ya, that's what I was wondering. I have a Droid, and if you are somewhere really remote, you might not have cell or 3G service, whereas with the standalone Spot it uses satellites so you should get service. Correct? I'd think the Spot would work better in really remote areas, no?
    #11
  12. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Been here awhile

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    No... you do not "get" service via a SPOT

    The advantage of using a smart phone, is the same advantage as using a DeLorme GPS.... you get a wireless connection between the two, which allows you to SEND custom txt messages to a PRE specified group.

    You DON'T get incoming messages, NOR do you get any kind of additional service when out of cellular range. You cellular phone and data plan, are still what they are. All your phone is doing for you, is giving you access to a key pad and allowing you to see the status of your SPOT messages (even when out of cellular/data range). So you don't get "any better" service, nor does the SPOT enhance the cellular/data of a smart phone.

    SPOT uses globalstar satellites, and DOES NOT have the ability (at this time) to add data or voice services to your smartphone device. If you want voice or data services, you need to look into a device made for such a service (and still to this day, IMHO Iridium Satellite is best) like a Satellite phone or Base Configuration and it still would be "another" device to add to the smart phone and SPOT.

    So, WHY would you want a smart phone and a spot??
    ... it gives you the ability to send a specific "custom" (non canned) text message to a pre-determined group of people's cell phones (via text) or to their email. If you do not have this capability, the SPOT1 or SPOT2 does similar... but you lose the ability to customize your text message before sending. It would be a "canned" message only. For example; Your out in the middle of BFE, and your support truck is heading to the next meeting spot. However, a bike just died and you need the truck to meet you in a town called "Niland". With no cell service, and the SPOT Connect, you can text that message; "Turn back, broke bike, meet us in Niland on Main Street". Without the "connect", your limited to the pre-canned messages you have pre-built into the SPOT1 or 2 web page (which might be, "we're okay, heading to next meet" or "We need help, call us or meet us at last stop"). Being able to put in a message, rather than use a canned message... is much more tailored to the person, the situation, and the event.
    #12
  13. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Been here awhile

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    I just thought of another way to explain what the CONNECT does for your smart phone;

    TURN OFF all your phones data, and voice capabilities, turn off wifi...etc. Basically, put it in Airplane mode (as long as bluetooth still works)... where you can't check email, nor can you make a call.
    (your now saving battery life - and in a situation where SPOT comes into play)

    Now, go to the SPOT application in your smart phone.
    With that app, Text a custom or personal message to a contact or group of contacts (they have been previously assigned in your SPOT profile, on your FindMeSpot account pages). Depending on how you assigned that contact or group of contacts, will it text them, email them, or both (text and email). Wha-La... done!

    ... your Smart Phone SPOT app will tell you when the last message was sent, and if you had tracking enabled... the smart phone also knows (and shows) if those tracks are being sent as intended. The app is very simple, yet gives you status of those messages. Where as, with a SPOT1 or SPOT2... you don't know if your messages are being sent, you rely on some LED status lights and possibly calling someone who can verify outgoing transmissions.
    #13
  14. wparkinson

    wparkinson Gear Whore

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    I have been looking at this for some time... Well the spot anyway. I have the delorme PN-40 and would love a PN-60/W but..... I love this idea... Kinda best of all worlds....

    I love my PN-40 and if it ever dies I will get another or a PN-60.. I want a spot and love the idea of using it with my Smart phone to be able to send messages over the Spot Connect... Its a great idea....

    JA.. Good explination...
    #14
  15. Emperor Norton

    Emperor Norton Kilroy was here

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    So this new spot does everything the older versions did + will work with your BT enabled droid/iphone to send unique text messages? If your phone buys the farm the spot will work in the same manner as a traditional spot unit?
    #15
  16. JohnnyAirtime

    JohnnyAirtime Been here awhile

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    Yes and No.

    Yes, it does everything the SPOT1, SPOT2 and SPOT for DeLorme GPS do... which is send tracking, and/or "Okay/411/911" messages. But like the SPOT for DeLorme, and now the SPOT Connect... it allows custom text messages.

    However, without the smart phone it will only send 911 and constantly track (if enabled). So NO, it does not work the same as a SPOT1or2 when the phone buys the farm. You no longer have physical buttons to push for "Okay" and "411" check in messages. Nor can you enable or disable tracking (it remains in it's previously "set" state before the phone died).

    To put it bluntly; The SPOT Connect ONLY has a power button, and a 911 button
    #16
  17. Happy Snapper

    Happy Snapper GOMOB.

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  18. benno.h

    benno.h cageracer

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    Looks kinda cool.

    Data charges will sting. I'm pretty sure Spot uses the Iridium network and it ain't cheap.
    #18
  19. Happy Snapper

    Happy Snapper GOMOB.

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    Anybody else? Somebody?.... anybody got a thought?
    #19
  20. Doc Rich

    Doc Rich Dance with the Angels

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    I have used the Spot personal tracker for the past 2yrs with great success in NSW for tracking and sending messages via email and text automatically from the device (you cannot send a sperate message with this device). At $100 a year it is reasonable. I would assume the SPot connect would work just as well but you would have to pay for extra messages sent via your smartphone. You can't recieve messages though (according to the website).
    #20