The Most Influential Gear of All Time: Spot Personal Locator Beacon

2007

The Spot Beacon     Photo: Courtesy of Spot

Locator beacons have been used by sailors for decades, but only more recently has the technology made its way ashore. Since 2003, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has allowed landlubbers the use of military satellite networks via personal locator beacons (PLBs). In 2007, however, SPOT launched its own low-earth orbiting satellites and made personal location affordable for a broader range of outdoors people in locations where their cell phones wouldn’t get service or were prohibitively expensive to use.

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