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New technology provides backup safety for hikers going off-the-grid

SPOT technology connects to satellites so hikers can call for help, even without cell phone service or a fully charged battery.

PHOENIX — Have you ever been on one of the thousands of trails in Arizona and lost cell phone reception or had a battery die? 

A technology known as "SPOT" has been developed to ensure hiker safety while on the trails. It is a range of products that are satellite powered. 

Representatives like Denise Davila with the company said they own and operate 24 low earth-orbit satellites, which enable communication for anyone who goes “off the grid.”

"We've had 163 rescues within the state of Arizona. When your cell phone goes for four bars to none and you can't rely on it anymore, then a satellite communication product like SPOT is something that you can rely on," Davila said.

12 News spoke with avid hikers about whether or not they would be interested in SPOT's devices.

"I mean it sounds familiar, like sounds similar to Google Maps," one hiker said.

Kyle Moore, who's an avid mountain biker, said that in addition to GPS technology, it is important to know your limits and not let your guard down.

So, while most prefer their own methods of safety, like familiar trails or outdoor activities with friends, SPOT is still likely a useful tool to those who are new to adventuring and don't want to risk getting lost or losing communication.

"If you are placed in a type of situation you just press the button to activate an SOS and you will have search and rescue team come to you," Davila said.

Since 2007, SPOT helped initiate thousands of rescues worldwide and Davila says, Echo Canyon, Lost Dutchman and Tonto National Forest are where a majority of the Arizona based SOS calls come from specifically.

 For more information on the company and products, visit the SPOT website. 

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