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U-blox has announced that its small-outline AMY-5M GPS receiver module has been chosen as the GPS receiver for the Globalstar next-generation Spot Satellite GPS Messenger.

U-blox’s GPS receiver enables the Spot Satellite GPS Messenger to quickly and accurately determine a user’s position with fast time to first fix (TTFF).

When activated, Spot sends the user’s GPS location coordinates and select messages using Globalstar’s constellation of low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellites to friends, family or co-workers via SMS messages or emails.

The Spot Satellite GPS Messenger can be used to notify a response centre of a user’s location.

The unit can also be tracked visually on the web using Google Maps or Google Earth.

As Spot uses satellite technology, users can send their location information and messages regardless of cellular availability.

Bob Miller, senior vice-president of ground operations at Globalstar, said: ‘When specifying the functionality requirements for the new Spot Satellite GPS Messenger, we gave Axonn the difficult task of designing and delivering an improved product that would be smaller, lighter and even easier to use than the original award-winning device.

‘Thanks to the new U-blox GPS receiver, Axonn has designed a next-generation product that will acquire a user’s location coordinates even faster than the original Spot,’ he added.

The product is now available at more than 8,000 points of Spot distribution worldwide.

As of 31 March 2009, Globalstar had received orders to ship more than 120,000 units to customers in the US, Canada, Latin America, Western Europe and Australia.

The Spot Satellite GPS Messenger is scheduled to be available at select retailers later this year.

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