Have you ever found yourself wandering around a craggy mountainside at dusk, holding up your phone above your head in the hope your arm will act like an antenna? “Just one bar of reception – is that really too much to ask?” you whisper angrily, in between expletives. The text you’d promised to send to your mum/wife/boyfriend – “I’m alive, don’t worry about me, all is well x” – has that exclamation mark next to it. Unsent. Before you know it, the tranquillity and escapism of wild camping has been shattered, replaced by the stress of trying to placate your anxious loved-ones.
The solution? You need your phone to work even in a reception blackspot – and this nifty little device allows you to do so. The Somewear Global Hotspot gives any smartphone the ability to keep working when cellular service fails. It tethers your phone to the Iridium satellite phone network, and then allows you to send messages, track activities and access weather reports via an app. It has 100% global coverage, features an SOS button (for use in life-threatening emergencies) and requires a monthly subscription to work.
Other satellite communication options exist on the market, mostly notably the Garmin inReach Mini. But some of these hardwear devices have tiny screens and are clunky to use, with sending a simple message requiring almost super-human finger dexterity. The Somewear Global Hotspot is different: almost all of its functionality is accessed via an intuitive app on your smartphone. As the brand puts it, the “Somewear mobile app brings the power of satellite connectivity to your favourite screen. Pairing the hotspot with the mobile app transforms the hotspot from a tracking and SOS device to a method of connecting the supercomputer in your pocket to space!”