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: Bill and Andreas
Case #: 12629
Bill Peschka, a Tour Divide Veteran, was cycling in Wyoming as part of an ultra-distance mountain bike race following the Continental Divide from Banff Canada to the Mexican border at Antelope Wells, NM.
One June afternoon, Peschka was cycling in Sweetwater County where he stumbled upon Andreas Fassbender, a German cyclist heading north to Canada. Fassbender had been catapulted off his bike after hitting a patch of deep sand with the front wheel. Fassbender had been lying on the ground waiting for 2 hours as he was unable to connect to local authorities due to lack of cellular coverage. Luckily for Fassbender, Peschka had his SPOT handy.
The SOS was pushed and within 30 minutes, Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office had arrived on the scene and was looking for SPOT Owner, Peschka by name. Two ambulances had been dispatched because they were unsure of the road conditions and wanted to get quickly to Fassbender’s aide. They loaded Fassbender into the ambulance and off they went.