In follow up to my emergency beacon rant, I sent a short email to SPOT requesting they add a coordinate display to their next generation beacon. It’s unlikely that they will listen to me as one lone hiker, but if enough people would see this as a useful addition then maybe it is something they would consider.
I have been interested in purchasing a SPOT Beacon for some time and there is a feature I would be interested in seeing in future designs. It would be helpful to have a small LCD readout on the SPOT device that could display UTM/Lat&Long Coordinates.
I currently do not hike with a SPOT or a GPS device, but I can see the usefulness in having a SPOT Beacon for emergencies. The SPOT likely already knows its satellite coordinates within its software, but having that readout could assist many hikers/adventurers in pinpointing their exact location on a map and possibly getting themselves un-lost without having to activate their emergency beacon.
Experienced outdoors people would be able to use this feature in conjunction with a map and compass to confirm their navigation, without necessarily carrying the added weight and bulk of a GPS. I met some of the SPOT representatives at this past SARSCENE in Montreal and after toying with the idea of purchasing a beacon I think adding this feature would be the deciding factor.