Small, simple to use two-way satellite communication is what is on offer from the ACR Bivy Stick, which allows users to send and receive text messages, emails and SOS signals
Safety and survival specialist, ACR Electronics, has launched what they refer to as the world’s smallest and most simple satellite communication device – the ACR Bivy Stick two-way satellite messenger and app.
The ACR Bivy Stick is a device that is able to send SMS messages, track and share location information, access GPS maps, view live weather forecasts and initiate a distress call in an emergency.
The 100g 4.5 x 1.8 inch box is designed to provide the full range of benefits when paired with a smartphone and includes a dedicated check-in button for updating friends and family with a preset message at a specific location.
The ACR Bivy Stick features a high-power antenna for reliable connectivity and frequent use, with two-way text satellite communication enabling the user to send text messages to phone numbers or email addresses, as well as share and track location.
There is an SOS button to contact rescue services in an emergency, with SOS also available through the app. As a free option, ACR Bivy members are provided with the communication to Global Rescue, an industry leader, providing 24/7/365 medical, security, evacuation, travel risk and crisis management services to travellers around the world.
For those looking for a sat-comm device that is small and convenient to use, this would be very handy indeed. It is, perhaps, no match for a bigger, more powerful Satellite communications device, but for those of us who are not livaboard bluewater cruisers, or oceanic racers, this represents a relatively affordable and useful bit of kit.
The Bivy stick was originally launched by a Utah-based outdoor company and was, at the time, largely aimed at the outdoor hiking and adventure market. ACR acquired the company in early 2021, seeing in the device something that would also be useful in the marine market.
ACR Electronics have built up an enviable reputation in the safety and communications market, so it is certainly a brand you can trust in safety situations. They have also been astute here with the flexibility of their subscription model, likely a nod to the type of sailor (or adventurer) they anticipate purchasing the ACR Bivy Stick.
The subscription model for the provided services aims to make pricing as flexible as possible. Thus users are able to pay only for the months they use the device, with no annual contract or activation fee.
The easiest and cheapest option for those who anticipate being at sea regularly, would be the unlimited plan which comes for a fee of $49.99 per month. There are also two different Credit plans: 20 Credits for $18 per month or 100 Credits for $40 per month.
Credits do not expire, so they can be saved for times of high outdoor activity. One Credit is the equivalent to one SMS message, one tracking interval, one location request, or one basic weather report, while SOS and preset messages are unlimited.
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