I’ve been keeping my eye on the Delorme PN-60W which connects to a SPOT satellite beacon to let loved ones track your progress on a trip and also allows you to send short text messages via satellite when out of cell range. That satellite messaging service would be very handy indeed for me on some bike tours, sea kayak trips, trips to Baja, kiteboarding at remote lakes/beaches, etc… I’ve nearly bought that Delorme GPS on several occasions, but I wanted to milk my Garmin Vista Cx for as long as I could and I also figured it might be smart to wait for version 2 to come out in case there were any bugs in the first model.
Well SPOT did one better. They are now selling just the SPOT Connect module that will talk to any smart phone via Bluetooth. I’m definitely going to buy one to use with my iPhone. I’ve used a straight up SPOT beacon on a remote bike tour and a road trip to Baja – both times it worked great and let loved ones at home follow my progress without having to call or email home. It would also allow you to summon emergency services to a remote location which might be handy.
I haven’t been this excited about a gadget for a while…=-)