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. SPOT - The World's First Satellite Messenger Now Shipping

SPOT - The World's First Satellite Messenger (Photo: Business Wire).
by Staff Writers
Milpitas CA (SPX) Nov 08, 2007
SPOT announced that SPOT, the world's first satellite messenger, is available for purchase and activation. SPOT is now offering the messenger and service online. In addition, major outdoor, online, wireless and electronics retailers will carry limited stock of SPOT later in November, in time for the holiday gift-giving season.

Small, rugged and simple to use, the SPOT satellite messenger is a lifesaving device designed to improve personal safety for the millions of people who spend time in the outdoors - whether for recreation, work or daily life. With the push of a button, SPOT can transmit a user's exact location and message to a 9-1-1 emergency call center in times of need, or to friends, family or co-workers to request help, track their location, or just keep in touch.

Because SPOT sends a user's exact GPS satellite location over a commercial satellite network, SPOT works in much of the world regardless of cellular coverage. Viewing messages and locations is easy using the SPOT Web service with included Google Maps technology.

"All of us have heard the news stories of people getting lost, stranded or worse in mountains or remote areas, and we've all wondered what would we do when caught in those same dangerous or potentially life-threatening situations," said Dennis Allen, Senior Vice President of Sales, SPOT Inc.

"Now, with SPOT, you can send a message for help or tell family members, friends or the authorities exactly where to find you using GPS accuracy, and at a price most people can afford. In addition to outdoor enthusiasts, SPOT also helps the millions of people who desire the peace of mind of maintaining contact in the face of limited cellular coverage or as a back-up communication plan for natural disasters, such as the recent hurricanes in the Southeast or the wildfires on the West Coast. If you have a cell phone, you need a SPOT."

SPOT message and tracking functions enable users to send messages to friends, family or emergency responders, based on varying levels of need and to visually track the location of the SPOT satellite messenger:

- Alert 9-1-1 signals an emergency response center to dispatch emergency responders to an exact location

- Ask for Help sends a request for help to friends and family

- Check In lets contacts know where you are and that you are OK

- Track Progress sends and saves your location and allows your selected contacts to track your progress using Google Maps and www.findmespot.com with password-protected security.

"We are excited to meet this critical safety need," added Mr. Allen. "We are proud to provide a product that can offer more security to millions of people because of its lifesaving communication capability - and useful services for daily life, such as checking in, or tracking your location. Since our announcement at the Outdoor Retailer Show in August, bloggers, magazines, newspapers and retailers around the country have fallen in love with the SPOT messenger. Now, we are very pleased to be able to offer it to the public on Nov. 1."

As featured in Popular Science, MacWorld, U.S. News and World Report and The Washington Post, among others, the SPOT messenger provides consumers peace of mind whether they're signaling for emergency responders or checking-in with a spouse or friend. SPOT is only seven ounces and uses convenient and easy-to-replace AA size lithium batteries for complete portability. When powered on, it has a standby battery life of 12 months. The SPOT messenger also floats and its rugged waterproof construction is engineered to withstand a wide variety of extreme environmental shock and temperature conditions.

"As an avid outdoorsman, I saw the lifesaving value of the SPOT messenger for outdoor adventurers even before I used it myself," said Henry Waszczuk, host of two nationally-televised outdoor shows, 'Fins and Skins' and 'Fishing the Flats.'

"The way I see it, the SPOT messenger takes the search out of search and rescue. However, when I actually tested all of the functions of this little product, I was very excited about the potential for SPOT to provide peace of mind for outdoor enthusiasts in many other situations - whether you are hunting, camping, fishing, boating, or mountain climbing. SPOT is a must for any outdoor activity. I can now send updates on my whereabouts while traveling for work, let my family know I'm OK while deep-sea fishing, and have a back-up plan in case my truck breaks down on the way to another TV shoot. Without question, SPOT is one of the most amazing new products for the avid outdoorsman."

Pricing

The SPOT satellite messenger will be available through major sporting goods, wireless, and electronics retailers across the U.S. and online through the company's Web site, www.findmespot.com. The SPOT messenger will be available for $169.99 USD online (MSRP - unit price may vary by retail location). Initially, annual service fees will be offered at $99.99 USD. Later, monthly and multi-year options will be available. Optional features include an automatic tracking service for $49.99 and a private rescue service for countries or regions with non-responsive emergency services for $7.95.

Coverage

SPOT works in much of the world, including virtually the entire continental United States, Canada, Mexico, Europe and Australia, portions of South America, Northern Africa and Northeastern Asia, and hundreds of thousands of miles offshore of these areas. SPOT uses the GPS satellite system to determine a user's location and a commercial satellite network to transmit that location and the user's status.

Product Specifications

Approximate dimensions: 4.38 X 2.75 X 1.5 inches

Operating Temperature Range: -40 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit

Weight: 7.37 ounces

Altitude: -300 feet to 21,000 feet

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Tacoma WA (SPX) Nov 06, 2007
More than 10 million members of the photo-sharing Web site Flickr snap pictures of their surroundings and then post those photos on the Internet. One group at the University of Washington is doing the reverse--downloading thousands of photos from Flickr and using them to recreate the original scenes. A presentation in October at the International Conference on Computer Vision showed how photos from online sites such as Flickr can be used to create a virtual 3D model of landmarks, including Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris and the Statue of Liberty in New York City.

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