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Avoid the need to amputate your own arm with the Spot Connect satellite communicator

If you've ever needed to cut off your own arm when trapped down a canyon, you'll know how valuable the Spot Connect can be. It'll let you send an SOS signal from almost anywhere.

Ian Morris

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If you're the sort of person that likes to rush around the wilderness falling down holes and generally risking life and limb, then you should rush out and get a Spot Connect, which could help save your life, or arm, if you find yourself in a pickle. It's a small device that pairs with your smart phone to let you send messages and GPS co-ordinates via satellite when you can't get a mobile-phone signal.

We're betting that Aron Ralston would have given his right arm -- sorry, that was bad, even by our standards -- for one of these. Ralston, if you don't know, is the man who was forced to amputate his own arm after becoming trapped by a small boulder in a Utah canyon.

Were Ralston to find himself in a similar position now, all he would need to do is use a Spot Connect to send an SOS message to the authorities, who would be with him in mere hours to prevent all that messy arm trimming. The only downside is that the resulting movie would be much more dull than Danny Boyle's new flick, 127 Hours.

The big advantage of the Spot Connect's satellite connectivity is that you get nearly 100 per cent global coverage, so no forest, canyon or desert should be able to scupper your rescue -- assuming the device can see enough of the sky to get a satellite lock, of course.

The Connect has a simple button which can be used to summon help. When pressed, it sends a signal to the GEOS International Emergency Response Coordination Centre every five minutes, so the staff there should find it hard to ignore your pleas for help.

But the Spot Connect isn't just useful for emergencies. It can also be used to send friends and family regular progress updates about where you are and whether your limbs are still attached. The device can also update Facebook and Twitter, so your loyal followers can keep track of you too, and potentially burgle your house while you aren't there.

Apps are available for both Android 2.0 and higher, and the various Apple iOS devices. Spot Connect costs $170 in the US, which translates to about £110 in the UK, but the actual British price will probably be higher, what with VAT hitting new highs. There are also ongoing service charges too, which vary depending on what options you take.

Check out our photo gallery above to see more of the Spot Connect. 

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The app for iPhone and Android allows you to send short messages to people, and send SOS signals.
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There's a button on the side of the unit, covered by a rubber flange, that allows you to summon the emergency services with a single press.
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You can also tell friends on Facebook which canyon you're currently stuck down.

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