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Spot Emergency Handheld Gets 50K Subs

9/15/2008 04:11:00 PM Eastern

Milpitas, Calif. — Spot said it has sold 70,000 subscribers for its emergency Spot portable satellite messenger/tracker, which has enabled 45 rescues since the device went on sale last December.

The company said it has also begun targeting the emergency device at consumer electronics stores, after its initial sell-in through outdoors and sporting goods retailers such as REI, Bass Pro Shops and Sports Authority. It sells through 5,000 storefronts worldwide and “is now pitching consumer electronics retailers,” said a spokeswoman.

The Spot Satellite Messenger is a handheld device for outdoorsmen that uses GPS and commercial satellites to notify 911 and family in an emergency, when cellular service may fail.

In addition to sending 911 alerts, it can send “request help” messages (tagged with a GPS location) to friends and family. It also has a “track progress” feature that sends location updates to family and friends; the locations be tracked via Google Maps.

Spot is waterproof, can float and operates down to 40 degrees below zero or as high as 185 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a suggested retail of less than $170 with an annual service fee of $99.99.

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