If your preferred pitched tend to be off the beaten track, but you get a bit twitchy when there’s no mobile phone signal, the SPOT Connect might be just up your street.

This little gadget turns an iPhone or Android smartphone into a satellite telephone, which means you can use it to communicate with civilisation from almost anywhere in the world. The SPOT Connect runs on its own battery power, connects wirelessly to a smartphone via Bluetooth and is controlled using its own smartphone app.

Although intended primarily for emergency use (the built-in GPS beacon can transmit location data to the International Emergency Response Coordination Center every five minutes), the SPOT Connect can also be used for one-way communication. Short messages can be sent by email or SMS to up to 10 predefined contacts, updates can be posted to Facebook and Twitter, and location data can be shared using Google Maps.

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There’s no news on UK availability just yet, but the SPOT Connect launches in the US at the end of January for around $170 (around £106), with a $100 (around £62) annual subscription ee for the satellite communication service.

[SPOT Connect]