HOW AIRFLARE WORKS
AirFlare transforms your mobile phone into a wilderness rescue beacon that provides search teams multiple ways to find you on and off grid. AirFlare adds no weight or bulk to your pack, works with limited or no cellular service, extends off-grid battery life to a week or longer and requires no user action to be searchable. Leveraging the cell phone already in your pocket, AirFlare is a low cost, easy to use, lifesaving tool you don’t need to remember to pack.
Peace of Mind
Getting “lost” in the wilderness is what some of us live for, but if you ever need to be found, you can be invisible to a search team just a few feet off the trail. AirFlare beacon is discoverable far beyond the range of sight and sound.
When accidents happen, you can’t always rely on being able to signal for help. You don’t need to remember to turn on AirFlare before you head out, and no user action is required to be discoverable by a search team looking for you.
AirFlare provides an extra level of safety and security for your outdoor adventures for less than the cost of a cup of coffee per month.
Long Battery Life
AirFlare guides you to configure your phone for the wilderness, ensuring protection for a week or longer.
Your privacy is paramount. Your profile is only accessible and your location only discoverable if you become the subject of a search. You are immediately notified via multiple means if this ever occurs.
Mobile phones are standard gear for even the most extreme fast and light adventurers. AirFlare is an app that weighs in at exactly 0 grams.
A Better Way to be Found
For Search and Rescue teams, AirFlare Search Technology provides multiple mechanisms to help locate a Lost Adventurer via their mobile phone. On-grid features like Location Caching and Location Return can identify a Lost Adventurer’s GPS coordinates before a ground team is even deployed. Off-grid features like Beacon Detection and Location Capture alert that the subject is in the vicinity, and guide searchers to the exact location. AirFlare Search Technology reduces cost and risk to personnel while offering a quantum leap in search speed and success.
What is AirFlare?
AirFlare is an app for your phone that helps search teams find you in the event you need to be found – whether you are on or off grid.
Who should have AirFlare?
Anyone who likes to adventure outdoors!
The number of people outside exploring our wilderness areas increases every year and, with it, the number of rescues.
In the outdoors, mobile phones have become our cameras, our GPS devices, our backup headlamps and the way we call for help if we’re in cell service. With AirFlare, now our mobile phone can be a powerful tool to help search teams find us on or off grid if we ever need to be found.
Our vision of 100% Found speaks to our desire to create a search solution which is low cost, reliable, simple to use and accessible to everyone who likes to venture outside – from the casual weekend warrior to the most extreme adventurer regardless the outdoor activity of choice.
How much does AirFlare cost?
Less than the cost of a cup of coffee per month. We wouldn’t be delivering on the promise of safety technology built into every mobile phone if it wasn’t affordable enough for everyone. Our intent will always be to keep the cost of AirFlare as low as possible. If cost is a barrier for you, your family, or team, let us know and we’ll do our best to make it available to you.
Our desire also is to keep AirFlare Search Technology free for the men and women who volunteer their time and put themselves in harm’s way to keep us all safe in the wilderness. We do not charge Search and Rescue teams for our search technology. Our revenue is generated solely from AirFlare app subscriptions, and your subscription helps us sustain this model.
Is AirFlare easy to set up and use?
Yes, AirFlare setup can be completed in 3 minutes or less. After download, a simple 5 question registration and subscription process assigns your phone a unique Search ID and creates a profile providing critical information to search teams in the event you ever need to be found. That’s it! You don’t even need to remember to open the AirFlare app before you venture out. So long as your phone’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth remain enabled, your phone is discoverable by a search team looking for you using AirFlare Search Technology.
How does Search and Rescue use AirFlare to find me?
When you install AirFlare on your mobile phone, you are asked to complete a 5-question profile.
If you become the subject of a search, AirFlare Search Technology provides search teams multiple mechanisms to locate you – covering both on-grid and off-grid scenarios:
- Location Return: When you become the subject of a search, the search team downloads your profile and your phone is immediately sent a notification. If you are in cellular service, your phone alerts you that you are the subject of a search. Unless you decline within 20 seconds, your phone’s GPS coordinates are sent back to the search team.
- Beacon Detection: Regardless whether inside or outside cellular service, AirFlare Search Technology is configured by the search team to detect your specific phone. When AirFlare Search Technology comes within range of your phone on a search (typically within a half mile), the search team is alerted you are in the vicinity.
- Location Capture: Once within range, AirFlare Search Technology instructs your phone to push its exact GPS coordinates back to the search team. If your GPS coordinates are unavailable, AirFlare Search Technology is used as a homing device to guide the search team to your location.
How do I ensure my phone is discoverable if I become the subject of a search?
Once you download AirFlare to your phone, create your profile, and install the AirFlare Beacon, your phone is discoverable by Search and Rescue Teams carrying AirFlare Search Technology as long as your phone’s Wi-Fi and Bluetooth is enabled. No other action is necessary on your part. In case you forget or just want to check, just open the AirFlare app and it will immediately advise you of its status and any configuration recommendations.
Can I use AirFlare to call for help?
AirFlare is designed to help Search and Rescue teams locate you once a search has been initiated. If you are in an area with cellular service, you can send an emergency message from the AirFlare app to 911 or to a friend that will automatically include your GPS coordinates. (From the AirFlare Main Menu > In an Emergency > Send SOS Message to find the Location Messaging feature).
Prior to traveling into an area with spotty or no cellular service, it is always a good idea to let someone know where you will be and what time you are expecting to return.
Does the AirFlare App need to be open for my phone to be discoverable?
No. You do not need to worry about opening the AirFlare app before you venture out. The AirFlare app does guide you, however, in ensuring your phone is properly configured, and we do recommend turning it on before you head out, at least initially, until you have mastered your phone’s settings and proper configuration.
How far away can AirFlare Search Technology detect my phone?
Detection range depends on the method of search and the type of environment being searched. Boots-on-ground or aerial searches in open environments without significant terrain obstacles can have detection ranges of 1/2 mile or more. Detection ranges decrease in areas that are heavily forested or have significant ridges and depressions, but still well outperform what is achievable via human eye or by camera on a drone.
Will AirFlare work with my phone?
Very likely! AirFlare works on over 90% of the phones in use today. AirFlare works with iPhones running IOS 10 or later and with Android phones running Android 5 or later. To check the version of IOS on your iPhone, GoTo Settings –> About Phone –> IOS Version. To check the version of Android OS on your Android phone, GoTo Settings –> About Phone –> Android Version.
How long will my phone's battery last with AirFlare Beacon enabled?
Power consumption by the AirFlare app is negligible as listening for signals is passive and done automatically by your phone’s operating system. AirFlare simply sits there listening for a transmission from a search team looking for you, and only transmits a signal in response to AirFlare Search Technology in the vicinity, and then only if you are the specific subject of the search.
The method for optimizing your phone for an outdoor adventure depends on whether your phone is IOS or Android, and what your specific battery life needs are.
For IOS, we recommend using Low Power Mode (Settings à Battery à Low Power Mode ON) any time you venture outdoors. Low Power Mode preserves all of your phone’s core functions, including cellular data and extends its battery life to a week or longer – even in the harshest of no cellular or fringe cellular environments.
For Android, there is no equivalent to Low Power Mode. If you don’t need your phone’s battery to last more than a day, we recommend you leave your cellular data on (Airplane Mode OFF). This will preserve AirFlare’s on-grid features such as Location Return and Location Caching. In many places you think are “no-cellular environments,” your phone can intermittently get enough of a cell signal where these features might be beneficial in an emergency. Also, leaving your cell data on may enable a search team to narrow down your location using cell tower forensics if you become the subject of a search. If you need your Android phone battery to last more than a day, carry an auxiliary battery or switch your phone into airplane mode (with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled). In this mode, your phone’s battery will last a week or longer. Keep in mind though, that when you switch your Android phone to Airplane mode, you are disabling cellular data and also disabling AirFlare’s on-grid features such as Location Return and Location Caching).
As always, be especially conscious of phone usages which are high consumers of power, such as having your screen on excessively, or using your phone as a flashlight, camera or GPS device. Get into the habit of carrying an auxiliary or spare battery if you use your phone in the wilderness for these purposes.
What is "Wilderness Mode"?
Wilderness Mode is the optimal power conservation mode for wilderness activities when it’s critical to maximize your phone’s battery. Especially in an emergency, you may need your phone to last for days.
For iPhones, Wilderness Mode is Low Power Mode ON with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled. This is the recommended configuration for IOS devices anytime you venture outside.
For Android, Wilderness Mode is Airplane Mode ON with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled. Note that this mode on Android devices disables cellular data, and therefore, also disables AirFlare on-grid features such as Location Return and Location Caching.
Why do I need to have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled?
The various technologies we use rely on one or both of those radios to be listening and responsive to AirFlare Search Technology carried by Search and Rescue teams looking for you. Unless you need to preserve your phone’s battery for a multi-day outing, we also recommend keeping your cellular data on to take advantage of AirFlare’s on-grid rescue features.
Will having Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled drain my phone's battery?
No. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth detection is a passive activity that consumes virtually zero power. When your phone has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled, it only “listens” for signals and only broadcasts a response when it comes within range of a signal it recognizes. With AirFlare, your phone is listening for a signal from a search team searching specifically for you.
Who can access my profile?
Why do I need to provide my birthday, zip code and email address when I create a profile?
Your profile information is how a Search and Rescue team identifies you in the AirFlare Registry and retrieves your AirFlare Search ID to find you. Email is how we communicate to you that your profile has been accessed by a Search and Rescue Team and that you are the subject of a search. It is incredibly important your profile information is complete, accurate, and kept up to date.
Talk to me about Privacy
Your privacy is paramount, and our team has a ton of real industry experience to ensure its respected.
Your profile requires only the bare minimum information for a search team to identify you if you are the subject of a search. Your profile and location is only discoverable if you become the subject of a search. Our search technology and your profile is only accessible to search teams and search personnel authorized in its use. If your profile is ever accessed you are immediately notified via both email and push notification to your phone, identifying the search team looking for you and providing their contact information. All the above is audited by our team.
We do not sell data to anyone. We’re in this business to help keep you safe on your outdoor adventures and to help search teams save lives, not to help marketers get the right sneaker ad in front of you.
I’m headed out. How do I configure my phone?
Great question. This is repetitive, but it’s super important, so bear with us.
First off, when in doubt, open the AirFlare app and follow the onscreen prompts to ensure your phone is configured properly.
For IOS users we always recommend Low Power Mode ON with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled. This ensures all AirFlare on-grid and off-grid functionality is active AND ensures maximum battery life from your phone. Do not use Airplane mode on an IOS device.
For Android users, if preserving your battery for more than a day is not critical, do not put your phone in Airplane mode. Leave Airplane Mode OFF (Cellular Data ON) and ensure Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are enabled to preserve AirFlare’s on-grid and off-grid rescue functionality. If preserving battery life for more than a day is important, either carry an auxiliary or spare battery, or switch your phone into Airplane mode (with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth enabled). Just know that Airplane mode turns off your cellular data. Your phone will still be discoverable by a search team looking for you, but AirFlare’s on-grid features such as Location Caching and Location Return will be disabled.