Having Peace of Mind While Traveling
Those of us who often venture to places where civilization has been left behind, or at least has a hard time accessing, might take for granted the fact that once we’re “out there” we can be hard to reach. It’s this lack of connectivity that is actually one of the reasons I like to head into the hills far from the beeps and bops of social media app notifications and the rings of conference calls. To escape our connected, modern world for some true peace and quiet is an allure that is undeniable.
As nice as it can be to leave the electronic world behind, it’s easy to forget that it is this same connectivity that we might need the most if we ever were to come across trouble while in the middle of nowhere. Anything from an immediately irreparable problem with our vehicle, or even worse, bodily injury, would surely derail our plans of a leisurely escape in an instant.
We’ve all been there before, an area that no cell tower can reach, no matter how high you raise your phone up into the air. No amount of hoping and wishing will deliver your text message when there just plain isn’t any data service. The freedom of being away from it all could instantly become a living hell without the benefit of being able to reach out for help when we need it the most.
“Over a span of a couple of weeks, we took Somewear Global Hotspot to some of our favorite getaway places that are notorious for us to not receive any mobile phone services. We were pleasantly surprised to receive texts without any issues.”
Here’s where satellite-powered personal hot spot devices, such as the Somewear Global Hotspot, step in. The Somewear Global Hotspot unit outfits any smartphone with satellite connectivity, providing you reliable communications coverage where you need it the most, when you need it the most—in the middle of nowhere, anytime.
Think of Somewear Global Hotspot as a piggyback communications system that enhances your phone to be able to use certain data services even when your usual cellular and data services disappear. It works by leveraging the Iridium satellite network that orbits the Earth in order to offer you complete global coverage. The hotspot allows your smartphone to access two-way satellite text messaging, weather reporting, and interval location tracking.
The Iridium satellite network is known as the most reliable satellite communication network in space today. With a cross-linked Low-Earth-Orbit (LEO) constellation of 66 active satellites, the Iridium network provides 100 percent global coverage across oceans, airways, as well as polar regions. Now that’s what we call coverage.
What’s more, Somewear Global Hotspot also has your back when it really hits the fan. The removal of a cap embossed with “SOS” on it reveals access to the SOS button. Activating the button triggers an SOS call that will alert a search and rescue team of your situation. This feature is powered by the trusted travel safety and security firm, GEOS Worldwide, to get you help when you need it the most.
For more pedestrian uses, Somewear can be used to chat with friends and family over its free app. The app also allows them to view your location, too, so they can follow along with your adventures.
“Think of Somewear Global Hotspot as a piggyback communications system that enhances your phone to be able to use certain data services even when your usual cellular and data services disappear.”
Somewear is contained in a lightweight, compact body that easily fits into your pocket or in your pack. It weighs about 4 ounces and is powered by an internal rechargeable battery pack that is rated to send or receive over a thousand text messages on a single charge or send a location pin every 10 minutes for 11 days. These power estimates assume a clear line of sight to the sky. The unit can be fully charged in about one hour. For durability, Somewear is rated to IPX7, which means it can be submerged in water a maximum of 3 feet for 30 minutes.
The hotspot requires a clear line of sight to the sky for it to work. We activated it within our office building and the unit could not connect to the satellite network. Moving outside, it soon acquired the network and we were off and running. Over a span of a couple of weeks, we took Somewear Global Hotspot to some of our favorite getaway places that are notorious for us to not receive any mobile phone services. We were pleasantly surprised to receive texts without any issues. The Somewear app was also reliable and allowed us to chat and display our location. It’s worthy to note that we did purposely walk under a dense canopy of trees, which did hamper our connection somewhat. Walking out from under the leafy and piney umbrella restored the service.
The Somewear Global Hotspot does require an active satellite data subscription in order to function. Service contracts are available as monthly and annual plans. The good news is that monthly plans can be paused. If you are in-between trips and don’t think you’ll need it for a while, put the plan on ice until you need it again. Plans vary in terms of number of messages that can be used per month, but all include 24/7 SOS monitoring.
There’s little doubt in our minds that the Somewear Global Hotspot is an essential tool for explorers and adventurers who spend any amount of time in off-the-grid locations. It provides you and your loved ones with the peace of mind of being able to communicate when you need it most.
Editor’s Note: A version of this article first appeared in the July/August 2019 print issue of Tread Magazine.