StaySafe Lone Worker Satellite Mode

Introduction

StaySafe’s Satellite Mode, powered by Garmin, sets a new standard in lone worker protection for remote workers, allowing you to use all the features of the StaySafe app no matter where you are in the world.

Satellite mode is compatible with all StaySafe features, including panic alerts, welfare checks, fall detection, duress alarms, quick start and driving mode.

Available for both iOS and Android devices, Satellite Mode seamlessly integrates with the StaySafe app; all you need is a paired Garmin device.

When paired, our intelligent system automatically switches to using Garmin when no other signal is available, guaranteeing uninterrupted connectivity. This means you can continue using the app on your phone without interruptions, whether connected via Wi-Fi, data, or satellite.

Garmin inReach User Guides

You can find the user guides for your Garmin device here:

  1. InReach Mini 2
  2. inReach Messenger
  3. inReach Mini
  4. inReach SE+ & Explorer+

Connecting your Garmin inReach

Connect your Garmin with your phone using the steps below, depending on your specific type of Garmin.

Garmin inReach Mini 2 & Messenger (BLE devices)

These devices are paired directly through the StaySafe app:

  1. Open the StaySafe app.
  2. Tap on Settings.
  3. Tap on Garmin inReach.
  4. Put your Garmin into Bluetooth pairing mode (this will be in the Garmin’s Settings, under Phone, then Pair Device).
  5. If prompted to enter a PIN, enter the PIN shown on the Garmin’s screen.
  6. In the StaySafe app, tap the name of the Garmin to pair it directly with your phone, and connect it to the StaySafe app.
  7. Once the Garmin is connected, you will see the inReach status screen with the name of the Garmin, the connection status and the battery level.

Garmin inReach Mini, SE+ & Explorer+ (Classic devices)

These older devices are paired to your phone using native Bluetooth pairing.

  1. Pair the Garmin with your phone via your phone’s Bluetooth settings. Typically, this involves opening the phone’s settings, finding connections/Bluetooth and scanning for new devices.
  2. Open the StaySafe app.
  3. Tap on Settings.
  4. Tap on Garmin inReach.
  5. Put your Garmin into Bluetooth pairing mode (this will be in the Garmin’s Settings, under Bluetooth, then Pair Device).
  6. In the StaySafe app, tap on the device to connect it to the StaySafe app.
  7. Once the Garmin is connected, you will see the inReach status screen with the name of the Garmin, the connection status and the battery level.

We recommend pairing the device while you have a data connection (WiFi or cellular).

Using StaySafe with Satellite Mode

Working in Satellite Mode

StaySafe will automatically switch into Satellite Mode when your Garmin is connected to your phone and no other signal is available. Once another type of signal is available, it will automatically switch back out of Satellite Mode.

When StaySafe is in Satellite Mode and you perform an action, such as starting, extending or ending a session or triggering an alarm, you will see the satellite communication screen. This screen (shown on the left below) highlights the steps to prepare and deliver the satellite message.

The steps that are displayed are:

  1. The app checks that a paired inReach device is within range and connected by Bluetooth
  2. The device app prepares the message format, including
    1. the user device ID
    2. the event type being triggered
    3. the timestamp from the phone
    4. the lat/long position from the Garmin GPS (Location from the Garmin device is far more accurate than a mobile phone)
  3. The app queues the message on the inReach device
  4. The app monitors for a successful connection to an Iridium satellite
  5. The app awaits confirmation that the event has been sent.
  6. The message will send, the Garmin will chirp (model dependant) to indicate the message has been sent
  7. The app will return to the home screen with a pop-up message (shown on the middle screen below) confirming that the satellite operation has been completed.

When StaySafe is in Satellite Mode, the main screen will show a notification badge on the Status button (see the screenshot to the right). Tapping on Status will show the details, including that the system is operating in Satellite Mode. The need for Satellite Mode is evaluated each time you perform an action in StaySafe, and once another type of signal is available, it will automatically switch back out of Satellite Mode, and the status badge will be removed.

Satellite Operation

Timeout

If an event takes longer than 15 minutes to send, the inReach device will chirp to prompt that the event has not been sent.

The inReach device will provide a prompt asking if you wish to continue sending.

To continue trying to send, select Keep trying on the inReach device

The message on the app can be cleared by pressing Dismiss, and the timer will continue to increment until a connection is made

If another 15 minutes passes, the option to continue will be offered again.

Cancel after time out

To abandon the operation, tap Cancel on the Garmin device. The app is notified of this change (over the Bluetooth connection) and the operation is considered failed.

Location Tracking

While in Satellite Mode, your location updates are sent directly from your Garmin to StaySafe using Garmin’s Tracking function. To keep your location updated in StaySafe, ensure you have Tracking enabled on your Garmin.

We recommend setting your Garmin up to enable Auto Track on your device. To do this, go into your Garmin’s Settings menu, select Tracking and enable Auto Track.

Depending on the inReach device you have and the plan you are on, you may be able to adjust the tracking interval. More frequent tracking updates improve the timeliness of location data in StaySafe but will reduce battery life.

You can run a session without location tracking, but in this case, the breadcrumb trail in the hub will only update when a user performs an action(e.g. checks in).

Triggering a Panic

To trigger a Panic alarm, you MUST use StaySafe’s panic alarm, activated via the StaySafe app, discreet panic or a V.BTTN.

Do not use the SOS button on your Garmin to trigger a panic.

Sharing Garmins

One of the key benefits of Satellite Mode is that it makes the sharing of devices extremely simple. There is no need to create Garmin accounts in StaySafe and/or to assign devices to users and teams. StaySafe will dynamically attribute signals from your Garmin to your StaySafe user account as you use it.

StaySafe assigns a device to your StaySafe account when you pair it with your phone. If the device is paired to multiple phones, StaySafe will automatically assign the device to the lone worker connected to the device over Bluetooth when any session commences.

We recommend that, where devices are shared, users disconnect it from StaySafe within the app when they have finished using it and reconnect/re-pair the device each day they start using it.

inReach Performance

inReach devices require a clear view of the sky to transmit messages and locations over the Iridium® satellite network. Without a clear view of the sky, the device attempts to send the information until it acquires a satellite signal.

For the best possible performance:

  • Ensure the inReach device is turned on and, has line of site to the sky a few hours before use
  • Ideally keep the device in line of site to the sky and powered on when not in use
  • For the best connection with satellites, the top of the device should be oriented toward the sky

Notes

  1. Satellite Mode works when your phone and Garmin device are in the Bluetooth range.  The StaySafe main screen shows the status of your Bluetooth connection in real-time. You should monitor this connection to ensure your phone and device remain in range of each other, mainly if leaving your device in a car while you move away. In testing, we have found devices left in vehicles will remain connected to a phone carried up to 40 metres away, but connectivity will vary.
  2. Depending on your satellite coverage, it typically takes between 10 and 30 seconds for a message to be sent, but it can take up to a minute or longer. You can navigate away from StaySafe during this time, but you should not turn off your phone’s Bluetooth.
  3. The behaviour of Satellite Mode differs slightly between Android and iOS devices where an inReach is paired with the phone AND low signal mode is available.
    1. On an Android device, StaySafe will use Low Signal Mode in preference to Satellite Mode.
    2. On an iOS device, StaySafe will send using Satellite Mode, even if Low Signal Mode is available. This is because iOS does not allow StaySafe to confirm if an SMS message has been sent, so it is safer always to send over satellite in such a case.
  4. Although you can install one of the Garmin apps onto your phone  (Garmin Explore for the Mini 2, Garmin Messenger for the Messenger or Garmin Earthmate for the SE+, Explorer+ or Mini), it is not necessary to complete the pairing process or to use StaySafe Satellite Mode. These apps are only of use if you want to use the mapping or messaging features provided by these apps.
  5. You can only pair your phone with one Garmin device at a time. If you want to use a different device, disconnect the old one first. To do this, go to StaySafe Settings > Garmin inReach and tap the Disconnect this Device button.
  6. Each action delivered via Satellite Mode uses one of the 40 messages available to you monthly. If you use more than 40 messages in a month, additional costs may be incurred by your employer.

Prerequisites

  1. Make sure you have updated your StaySafe app to the latest version. Satellite Mode was launched on version 1.15 of the app. If you have recently updated your app to 1.15 or later but still don’t see the Garmin inReach setting, you may need to begin the Start Session process to force a configuration update. To do this, tap Start Session on the home screen, and then once you see the Set Time screen, go back to the main screen. You should now see Garmin inReach in your settings.
  2. Satellite Mode works with compatible Garmin inReach devices (Mini 2, Messenger, SE+, Explorer+ and Mini).
  3. The recommended Garmin devices are Mini 2 and Messenger,
  4. The device must be activated through a Garmin Explore Professional plan in a Garmin Explore portal managed by Secure Mobility (to enable forwarding satellite signals to StaySafe).
  5. Check that you have updated your Garmin device to the latest firmware. The following links provide the release notes for firmware updates for the devices and links to instructions for updating your device’s firmware. If your device is covered by the Secure Mobility Enhanced Support Service, then you can have Secure Mobility perform these updates for you; simply contact Secure Mobility support for instructions.
    1. inReach Mini 2
    2. inReach Messenger
    3. inReach Mini
    4. inReach SE+ & Explorer+
  6. Each user requires a StaySafe app license and the latest version of the StaySafe app installed on a compatible iOS or Android mobile phone.
  7. Each organisation using StaySafe must have Satellite Mode enabled in their StaySafe hub. If you don’t see the Garmin inReach option in StaySafe settings, contact your company’s StaySafe support person to enable Satellite Mode for your team.

Satellite Mode Sessions in the StaySafe Hub

There is the potential for delays when:

  • Session events are sent over satellite
  • Location updates are sent over satellite

For this reason, any satellite updates received in the hub will be highlighted to show their source. The hub now shows Satellite Pins (with a blue outline) which indicate that an update has originated from an inReach device.

The breadcrumb will become a hybrid trail showing all updates with cellular and satellite updates plotted in a single trail

Consider the following slide which shows a session switching between cellular and satellite modes:

  1. The session is started by satellite.
  2. It switches over to data
  3. While cellular connectivity is available, it tracks as expected
  4. When cellular connectivity is not available it uses Satellite Mode
  5. The user performs a check-in which provides location
  6. A Panic is triggered and the location is available

Video

You can find out more about the StaySafe Satellite Mode by watching the video below: