Holiday Gift Guide 2012

SPOT Connect

So you got lost on your quest. Happens to the best of us. With the SPOT Connect system, you can turn your iPhone or Android smartphone into a satellite communications device. It consists of a waterproof (1 m) satellite transceiver just 3 inches by 2.6 inches by 1.2-inch thick, powered by 2 AA lithium batteries. With a SPOT Connect App, your smartphone can synchswirelessly with the transceiver, allowing you to send short e-mails, text messages or updates via Facebook or Twitter. Most importantly, you can use your smartphone to call for help outside the range of VHF or cellular service, using messages stamped with date, time and your latitude and longitude. And, for an additional service fee, you can instantly call for TowBoatUS assistance anywhere under the sun. Suggested retail price for SPOT Connect is $169.99. See . (Bluewater warriors take note: You’ll want to investigate the advantages of a marine EPIRB before relying on your smartphone.)