NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Considering the roller coaster the markets have us on this summer, the sad fact is that if you want get out of the office these crazy days -- since who knows what tomorrow will bring? -- you're going to need a foolproof way to communicate with the office.
And considering how wobbly cellphone service tends to be in the more remote areas we all like to travel to, some sort of upgrade over normal wireless mobile phone service is suddenly not such a bad idea.
So how handy is it that a new generation of lower-cost satellite communications options has quietly crept onto the market? Over the past year or so, several satellite devices and services have lowered the cost of true call-from-anywhere speech and text. Keep in mind I did not say low cost; major satellite providers such as Iridium (Stock Quote: IRDM) and Globalstar (Stock Quote: GSAT) still like to charge real money to use their networks. Phones and devices run several hundred dollars at least, and they require serious monthly and by-minutes service fees.
But if you play your celestial communication cards right, legit, worldwide, foolproof satellite connectivity is a viable option.
Here are three ways to bring a little bit of NASA into your office communications mix:
Spot Connect App ($169 for the app and transmitter, plus $99 a year for the plan)
Yes, friends, you really can turn that barely-able-to-make-a-phone-call Apple (Stock Quote: AAPL) iPhone, iPad or even iPod of yours into a worldwide texting machine for not a zillion dollars. For sure, sat-enabling an iPod is not exactly idiotproof. You must procure a Spot Connect device, which takes effort. Then you must pair it with your mobile device using wireless Bluetooth technology. Again, that's a step. Then you'll need a line of sight to the sky and the time and patience for the Connect device to find and establish a data connection with communication satellites orbiting overhead. And then once all that is set up, you will really only will be able to send -- but not easily receive -- up to a 41-character message, depending on what service you use. You can even post to Facebook or Twitter.
Now, the technology is several steps away from full-on, two-way voice or text. But if you are looking a reasonably low-cost way to communicate from anywhere, Spot Connect is surprisingly handy.