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Strava launches new "Beacon" safety feature

The new feature, for Premium members only, means up to three people can be notified of where you are, even if they're not Strava users...

Strava has launched a new safety feature that lets people know where you are, even if they are not on Strava themselves.

Called Strava Beacon, the new feature on the fitness social media app can be turned on before a ride and up to three contacts will be able to see your location on a map in real time – but only if you’re a premium member.

Beacon shares your location via a text message, with a URL, so anyone with a smartphone and internet connection can track the progress of the Beacon user. The idea is if you stop for longer than expected, or are back later than expected, loved ones can track you down.

 “Let’s say it’s 3:30, you said you’d be home at 3:00 and you’re not moving towards home”, Ethan Hollinshead, Senior Product Manager, said.

“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.”

Strava said the concept for Beacon came the community. “We started by surveying our athletes to find out what types of features they would be most interested in and safety ranked highest,” according to Rayleen Hsu, Strava Director of Product Marketing.

Strava points out where GPS or mobile signal are poor, location data can be delayed or inaccurate, and Strava doesn’t guarantee Beacon accuracy.

You can find out more about how it works by visiting Strava’s blog.

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