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SPOT Assist brings GPS-based roadside assistance to Messenger

SPOT Assist brings GPS-based roadside assistance to Messenger
Darren Murph
Darren Murph|January 8, 2009 12:00 AM

We haven't heard much from SPOT since its Messenger was initially launched in August of 2007, but the personal tracker is finally seeing an update courtesy of some swank new functionality. Announced here at CES, SPOT Assist is meant to provide GPS-based roadside assistance, a first for a portable device such as this. Users who purchase the upgrade will be able to slam the above pictured Help button in order to receive roadside (or jungle-side, as the case may be) service around the clock in the continental United States (and Canada later this Spring). SPOT even notes that OnStar relies on positioning data received through cellular networks, though a bona fide GPS lock should provide a much more accurate indication of your true location. The Messenger is currently selling for $169.99, while SPOT Assist service will run $129 per year; full release is past the break.

SPOT Unveils SPOT Assist, the World's First Satellite-Based Roadside GPS Safety Service

Consumers Can Now Benefit From the Safety and Peace-of-Mind Associated Satellite-based Roadside Service over the Inherent Limitations of Cellular-Based Offerings

LAS VEGAS, NV - (January 8, 2008) – SPOT LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Globalstar Inc. (NASDAQ: GSAT) and a leader in personal satellite messaging and emergency communications, today announced SPOT Assist, a new roadside GPS safety service for its award-winning SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger™. SPOT Assist offers the world's only roadside assistance that operates solely on satellite technology for virtually seamless coverage independent of cellular networks. SPOT is showcasing its products and new services this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in booth number 5218 in the Tech Zone located in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

SPOT Assist's roadside service will offer complete 24 hour assistance 7 days a week in the Continental United States and Canada later this Spring. By simply activating SPOT Assist with the "Help" button on the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger, users can instantly alert a national roadside response center of their GPS location. Backed by a leading provider of national roadside assistance, SPOT Assist services include roadside towing, auto-accident assistance, fuel services, tire repair, battery service, lost key and lockout.

Unlike conventional services, such as OnStar, that relay positioning through cellular networks, SPOT Assist combines a GPS receiver with satellite communications technologies to deliver location-based messaging independent of cellular coverage. The SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger is a small, rugged and hand-held GPS unit that can access a world-wide satellite network system to keep you connected virtually anywhere you roam. The SPOT Assist roadside service is expected to be available in other countries later in 2009.

"Our customers have been using SPOT primarily off-road and outside of cellular range to check-in with loved ones or to get help in a real emergency resulting in increased safety and security for outdoor enthusiasts," said Tom Colby, COO of Globalstar and President of SPOT LLC. "SPOT Assist is an innovative extension of the SPOT product portfolio, and represents one more in a growing list of ways in which SPOT is continuing to deliver services that help to ensure the personal safety and security of our customers around the world at a very modest cost."

Now with SPOT Assist roadside service, SPOT customers can benefit from a complete GPS safety system which includes four functions that transmit messages based on varying levels of need:

• Help notifies the SPOT Assist roadside response center or others of your GPS location

• Check In lets contacts know where you are and that you are okay

• Track Progress sends and saves your location and allows contacts to track your progress using Google Maps™

• Alert 9-1-1 notifies an emergency rescue coordination center of your GPS location

Since its introduction in December 2007, the SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger has helped initiate close to 100 rescues, many which resulted in lives saved, and has transmitted more than 5 million "peace-of-mind" and "track me" messages world-wide.

Pricing and Availability
SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger is $169.99 USD (MSRP). Customers will be able to purchase SPOT Assist for $129 USD per year at www.findmespot.com. SPOT Assist will include national roadside assistance and unlimited basic SPOT service including Check-in and 9-1-1 emergency response messaging.
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