The recent events in the Mid-East reminded me of a conversation I had two years ago with the Worldwide Director of Security for a major consulting company. He had returned my call on a relatively unimportant matter and noted that he had been working sixteen hour days for the past week. He was having a major challenge locating the dependants of the company’s employees in Haiti after the devastating earthquake. My question to him was “Why are you returning my call?”
The Director of Security simply said “You need to hear this.” He went on to say that all the landline and cell services in Haiti were not working. “If all our people had a SPOT I could have determined the status and location of all of our people in an hour”. I already knew that. I had spent the past week shipping SPOTs to military and relief agencies to help them keep track of their people going to Haiti.
The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger is about the size of a pager. SPOT allows the user to send their OK, Help or SOS message along with lat/long and a google map by satellite with a press of a button. At $99 per unit and $99 per year for unlimited service it is an inexpensive solution to a critical problem.
With the increase in social networking foreign governments shut off cell services at the first hint of civil unrest. Because SPOT is satellite based it continues to work when the cell service is disabled.
I have been having more and more conversations like the one two years ago.