Cell phones have changed drastically over the years, and quite literally became the driving force behind a new generation. Accessing friends, family, and colleagues on a moment’s notice has become fundamental to our everyday lives. But despite the laundry list of advancements our mobile phones have undergone in the last decade alone, one major problem that still exists is the lack of coverage in certain areas.
It was with that problem in mind that Silicon Valley tech company, Higher Ground established the first satellite-messaging product to communicate directly to Geostationary (GEO) satellites. The SatPaq is about the size of a credit card, and clips directly to the back of your smartphone. This new technology in combination with the GEO satellites is capable of communicating with people up to 23,000 miles away.
With the SatPaq users can access:
- Location-based precision weather services
- On-demand, artificial-intelligence-guided first aid advice with Dr. Dex
- Roadside assistance
- Posting to social media
- Emergency assistance from anywhere 24/7
And while this isn’t a new concept, alternatives to the SatPaq can be expensive and oftentimes unreliable. Other products on the market use Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites instead of GEOs, which come with some major disadvantages. The first of which involves a 2-10 minute delay in being able to send your message due the LEO satellite’s positioning in the sky. In addition to that, they’re also incredibly expensive, and using them often requires a monthly fee. GEOs, on the other hand, orbit around the Earth and are always in view. Higher Ground also allows for on-demand use of the SatPaq, so you’re not paying for unused service.
In addition to having 26 US patents granted and in process and approval from the FCC for this new spectrum-sharing concept, the SatPaq has also undergone testing with National Park rangers, county search and rescue, Homeland Security agents, US Army Special Operations Forces and power hikers since December 2017. The SatPaq can genuinely be a lifesaving product for hiking, fishing, camping or during natural disasters when no other means of communication are available.
George Durkee, author, instructor and a consultant to many National Park Service search and rescue (SAR) teams, says:
SAR teams like Yosemite Search and Rescue (YOSAR) are called in to run some two hundred SAR events every year; many of these lead to injuries and deaths. For the entire country, there are about 100,000 search and rescues every year. These require hundreds of man-hours per event – much of it volunteer time. This is expensive in time, health and money. We simply need to do better. There can be two extremely frustrating situations for SAR responders: not knowing where an overdue hiker is located and/or not knowing the type of injury. An inexpensive-to-use communicator like the SatPaq can solve both of these problems. Merely checking in once or twice per day with its real-time location report will help us to significantly narrow a search area. And its ability to send long texts allows us to evaluate the injury and send the most effective and safest response.”
SatPaq was named an Innovation Award Honoree in the Wireless Devices, Accessories and Services Category at CES 2019. The SatPaq is available now for $249 at satpaq.com.