As seen in The New York Times on December 2, 2008:
Venturing Beyond a Compass and Map
By Ian Austen
SPOT Satellite Messenger
Unlike conventional GPS devices, the Spot Satellite Messenger (also known as Personal Tracker; $170, findmespot.com) does not give directions. Instead, it tracks its user’s location and sends family and friends automated text or e-mail updates. If necessary, the device can alert up to 10 people that a user needs nonemergency assistance; another feature acts as a global 911 service for true emergencies. The Spot requires an annual subscription of $100 to $158, depending on services.
Rescue Profile: Tom
Case #: 13665
Tom Madlem had been riding motorcycles for 50 years. Death Valley was one trip he had never taken before though. He and a friend had planned to take 2 weeks off and make the ride. However, the first part of the trip was going to force Madlem to commit the “cardinal sin” - biking alone.
This meant he would be riding alone through the desert for two days before meeting up with his friend. After his wife and son begged him not to go by himself, he was then convinced to purchase his SPOT GEN3™ for the trip so his family would have peace of mind. He made it the first day just fine alone. Tuesday morning, he had not ridden 10 miles when he took a hard fall on his bike.