SPOT on a Keychain

Outdoorsy folks know SPOT LLC as the maker of GPS communicator devices for use in the backcountry. But what about SPOT functionality on a key fob? That’s one piece of the SPOT HUG, a new satellite-based monitoring system that debuted this fall at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show. Made for the marine market, the HUG product includes a SPOT Tracker GPS satellite transmitter, a wireless keypad, and two keychain fobs for your boat’s keys.

spot hug keys small.jpg

SPOT HUG key fob

This new SPOT product has little relation to the orange units you see on backpackers and climbers heading into the wilderness. SPOT calls the HUG package a “theft-notification” product, and it’s made for “asset protection and GPS security.” In short, if someone motors off with your yacht, the system can track the vessel via GPS as the bad guys sail out to sea.

The multi-piece product, which comes to market this month, uses a 2.4 GHz receiver to link its components. The three devices communicate wirelessly to build a “virtual security perimeter” around a docked boat. If the boat moves outside the perimeter without the presence of a key fob, an alert is transmitted every five minutes via satellite, providing whereabouts via GPS and online maps.


SPOT HUG package

HUG users can also operate the on-boat system like a traditional SPOT messenger device, including satellite-based messaging features sent from the keypad or key fob and manual emergency-response alerts in a worst case scenario in troubled waters around the world. The SPOT HUG costs $449.95 plus an additional annual subscription fee.

—Stephen Regenold

Posted by Cameron - 12/07/2010 04:58 PM

Interesting. I’m curious about the idea of the boat moving out of a set perimeter w/o a key fob. If the key fob is on the key, isn’t that the most likely way a thief will steal a boat, or are many of them just towed off?

Posted by Derek - 12/08/2010 11:34 AM

Hi Cameron,

The SPOT HUG Fob is the wireless remote device that automatically arms and disarms SPOT HUG and can be used to activate SPOT functions of SOS, Help, Check-In/OK and Track Progress. It is up to the boat owner if they attach the Fob to their boat key chain or not.

That being said, boat’s are often stolen without the key, both on the water or still on trailers. The installed SPOT HUG Tracker establishes a security zone around the boat when armed. When the boat moves more than 500 meters without the presence of the Fob (which is currently with the boat owner who is enjoying dinner at a nice cafe 2 miles inland), SPOT HUG will detect Unauthorized Movement and begin transmitting notification alerts. Hopefully this is helpful.

Spot LLC

Posted by NWmtnBiker - 12/10/2010 01:47 PM

Hey SPOT – this would be a great tool to port over to bicyles and bike locks or locks in general for car top purposes! Maybe something that goes under the bike seat or you can slide it into the seat post or handle bars?

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