This is from an interview with Omni magazine in 1983.

OMNI: Any other projects on the horizon, Dr. O'Neill?
O'NEILL: Right now I'm working on Geostar, a satellite communications system that could be used by private individuals for a moderate price. It's very practical and not "blue sky" at all. The network we're planning would be based on a system of supercomputers on the ground and satellites in orbit. Four satellites would be used for coverage of the Americas, and ten for the rest of the world. The satellites I'm talking about would be in the same weight class as those RCA has been making for the last ten years. And there would be inexpensive transceivers of about the same size as a pocket calculator, which individual people could buy from places like Radio Shack. What subscribing to the system would give you is the capability to communicate, with short telegraphic messages of thirty-six characters or so, from any place to any other place in the world, and at the same time have your position measured down to a precision of a few feet.

I have two daughters in their twenties, and they're interested in the security issue. If they were walking alone on the street and were threatened by an attacker, they could push a button on the transceiver. Within half a second, the satellite would have located the nearest police car and informed the patrolman of the exact location and identity of the victim. Within another half a second, a subscriber would get a message saying that help is on the way. I've been working on this invention for a number of years, and last year [1982] the U.S. Patent Office granted my claims.

OMNI: Would we all be hooked up?
O'NEILL: The system could handle many millions of subscribers. We've already formed the Geostar Corporation to set up the system. The response and the backing seem to be tremendous. There's just a lot of work to be done.

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Last updated January 8, 2005