The new SPOT Connect, unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2011, has already racked up quite a few awards—and it’s only February folks!
In a nutshell, SPOT Connect turns your smartphone into a satellite communicator. That way when you’re off the grid, and 3G is 300 miles away, you can keep contact with friends, family and emergency personnel. A downloadable SPOT Connect App links up to your smartphone via Bluetooth and—voila!—you have a satellite smartphone capable of sending short emails, text messages with GPS coordinates, SOS messages for international emergency response, and even Twitter and Facebook updates.
Currently, the SPOT Connect App is compatible with the Android 2.0 or higher operating system, and is pending final Apple approval to allow SPOT Connect to sync with iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad.
Plus, in a bind, the SPOT Connect can act alone; it has its own SOS button for standalone emergency operation. But us Tahoe Mountain Sports staffers don’t just think it’s a great buy. SPOT Connect has racked up the following designations and awards; here’s a look and what other experts have to say:
- 2011 CES Innovations Award: Design and Engineering in Personal Electronics
- (The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger won the same award at the 2008 CES.)
- CNET: Best of Show Nomination: Software/Service/Apps category
- (Of more than 20,000 products showcased at CES, SPOT Connect was one of five nominated in the Software/Services/Apps category.)
“The Spot Connect’s hardware is self-contained, so it can continue to transmit your location when in Tracking or SOS mode even if the paired smartphone dies or is deactivated, and is IPX7 waterproof and shockproof, so it’s less likely to be damaged or destroyed than a relatively fragile handset… And because the Spot Connect has its own GPS receiver and satellite transmitter, it can also be used to add positioning and messaging functionality to noncellular devices, such as the iPod Touch.”
- Mobile Magazine: 10 Best of CES 2011, Best Satellite Technology
“Some technologies clearly stood out beyond others, some we thought were just damn cool, and others we know will make a difference in our connected lives.”
- Gizmodo: Some of Tomorrow’s Best Gadgets
“So you’re lost in the wilderness. Thoughts of a parched, solitary death are entering your mind. Well, with the Spot Connect, you can share these final thoughts on the Internet! And also save yourself (But mainly: Tweet.)”
- Tech Geeze: Best Picks in CES 2011
“As much as we’d love to have those new and shining smartphones coming here and there and everywhere, they’re pretty much useless if you’re stuck in a location without any signals. Typically when you’re lost in some random forest where it matters most. Look no further as there’s SPOT Connect and it has you covered.”
Add waterproof and lightweight to the Spot Connect’s feature list, and we’re sold! The device is scheduled to be released this spring, but you can go ahead and preorder SPOT Connect now or shop our other Spot Electronics in stock.
UPDATE March 31, 2011 – We now have the Spot Connect in stock!
I’m a 6-year Tahoe resident. Yep, I live the life, with a lake view from my desk, lunch breaks on the beach with my dog, and morning powder runs when the snow’s good. I ski, snowboard, skate ski, and cross-country ski in winter, and hike, mountain bike, backpack, and lay around on Tahoe’s beaches in summer.