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Strava Adds “Beacon” Safety Feature to Its Cycling App

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Strava has added a safety feature to its cycling app, called Beacon, that lets up to three friends see exactly where you’re riding –  even if they don’t have the app have the app installed. And, in addition you showing them a map of your exact location, it will also them know if you’ve stopped for a long period, or if your battery is low or if you’re out of network range.

To activate the Beacon, user simply turn it on and send a text to your contacts along with the tracking link. You can also send them a message at any time during your ride via the app.

Other fitness apps have features similar to Strava Beacon. For example, Garmin has its LiveTrack feature, but it only broadcasts your real-time location while you’re riding to other Garmin Connect users. It also provides a link you can send out via e-mail, Facebook, or Twitter, but the feature is mostly used among Garmin device users to enhance the social aspect of activity tracking.

On the other hand, Strava developed Beacon to be a safety-first feature, with the flexibility of being a social feature if you want to send out your live location to others that know you’re cycling or running.

Beacon is only available to premium subscribers (on iOS or Android) however, which carries $6 per month or $60 a year membership fee. 

more from Strava…

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Turning on the Beacon

Strava’s first safety feature. Built with feedback from our community of athletes.

For most athletes, that’s as high-tech as safety notifications get — a Post-it on the fridge. And if you’re not back by 12:30, expect someone to come looking for you. We all worry about safety from time to time, and our family and friends worry even more. So we made a feature to take some of that concern away and gives our loved ones peace of mind.

Beacon, our newest Premium feature, is the note on the fridge for the connected athlete. Instead of a lonely sticky note, Beacon safety contacts will get to see where you are during an activity in real time on a map. If you aren’t back on time, they can check to see where you are or if you’re stopped. If something were to happen to you, they’d be able to see your GPS location.

While we are proud of the new feature, we can’t take all the credit. The concept for Beacon came from the Strava community. “We started by surveying our athletes to find out what types of features they would be most interested in and safety ranked highest,” said Rayleen Hsu, our Director of Product Marketing.

The friends, spouses and parents who will be using Beacon had input as well. They asked for the ability to view an athlete’s location without having to login to Strava or install the app. We designed it so you can send a secure and randomized URL that works on any web browser, desktop or mobile. That way your Beacon safety contact doesn’t need to be on Strava to check in on your adventure.

“Let’s say it’s 3:30, you said you’d be home at 3:00 and you’re not moving towards home”said Ethan Hollinshead, Senior Product Manager, “That’s a good indication that they should reach out to you and see what’s up. Maybe you stopped for a coffee, or maybe you got a flat tire. Where it’s really designed to help the cyclist or runner is in that peace of mind scenario – to keep people from unnecessarily worrying about you.” Now you don’t have to leave a note and you can save that space on your fridge for your next finish line photo.

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Premium athletes can use Beacon from our mobile app now. Make sure you have the most recent update and give it a try.

1. Open up the app and go to start a new run or ride.

2. Tap the Beacon icon in the lower right.

3. Pick up to three safety contacts who will receive your location.

4. An orange dot will indicate when Beacon is active, letting you know your contacts can see where you’re going. Remember you’ll need to send a text every time you start a new activity to keep your Beacon up to date.

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We’ll always be committed to helping you make the most of your activities, and part of that commitment is doing what we can to get you home safely. Take Beacon along on your next adventure and let us know what you think!

 

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