Strava Launches ‘Beacon’ Safety Feature: Real-Time Tracking for Contacts

Strava has launched Beacon today, a new safety feature which allows Premium users to text three contacts to follow their ride or run in real-time.

The Beacon feature, which requires version 4.22.00 of the iOS app or later, is activated on the bottom right of the record screen. Once the feature is enabled, up to three safety contacts will be sent a text message with a unique link when your activity begins, allowing them to track you in real-time on a map.

Once you activate Beacon (which is in beta) for the first time, it’ll ask for permission to use your iPhone location data. Here, you’ll then select three safety contacts, which you can always change:

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Once you start your activity, Strava will remind you to send a text message to safety contacts. On the left below is a screenshot of what the text or iMessage will look like; on the right, you’ll know Beacon is active when the icon is showing with a dot beside it:

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While Strava says you can only text three contacts, the URL can probably be shared with anyone, if you want to let more than three people view your activity in real-time (unless it limits the site to three visitors).

Below, this is what your safety contacts will see when they visit your Strava URL; I think it’s a great idea to show battery life:

Strava beacon

The map web page shows the last time your activity was updated, the time you started, time active—and even your iPhone’s battery life percentage. If you end and save your ride or run, or discard it, the URL will also indicate this in the activity status, as seen below:

Strava beacon 2

Aaron Forth, Chief Product Officer, said in an emailed statement to iPhone in Canada, “Every athlete wants to be safe, and we felt we could help,” adding “We’re so proud to introduce Beacon, not only because our community and their loved ones have been asking for it, but also because Beacon adds a new dimension to Strava Premium. Whether you are training regularly, commuting back and forth, or heading out for the occasional workout, all types of athletes will find Beacon valuable.”

Again, while the new Beacon feature is a great idea, it is only available to Premium members, which costs $6 per month or $59 annually. Premium allows for unlimited activity uploads, plus offers more in-depth stats and analysis.

Click here to download Strava in the App Store.

Founder and Editor-in-Chief of iPhoneinCanada.ca. Follow me on Twitter, and @iPhoneinCanada, and on Google+.