GoTenna has recently launched a new device, called goTenna Mesh, that allows smartphone users to text and share GPS locations with friends even when they don’t have service and are several miles apart.
In 2014, the Brooklyn-based startup released its flagship device, the goTenna, which enabled users to communicate without cell towers, wifi routers or satellites. All you needed was to pair the device to your phone using bluetooth, then use goTenna’s app to create and send messages.
What’s different about goTenna Mesh is that, unlike its predecessor, it uses publicly available frequencies in the UHF spectrum. And it meshes, which means it can automatically and privately relay your message through other goTenna users, if whom you’re trying to reach is out of range.
According to the company, goTenna’s point-to-point range is typically up to one mile in most congested areas and up to about three miles in a typical open terrain.
But goTenna Mesh network gets stronger the more users join it. By relaying your message through other goTennas you can effectively double or triple your range and be likelier to get a message through in difficult situations.
Like the original goTenna, whether you’re spending time outdoors, packed into a crowded event, traveling overseas and in rural areas, or find yourself in an emergency situation, goTenna Mesh keeps you connected in an even more powerful way.
“We’re addressing something bigger than just unreliable service,” says Daniela Perdomo, goTenna’s cofounder and CEO. “From the onset, our mission has been to create bottom-up, people-powered connectivity that can run parallel to top-down communications infrastructure. We’re set on redefining communication based on need as opposed to access, and with goTenna Mesh, we’re one step closer to achieving this on a larger scale. It starts being useful when you don’t have service, but we believe mesh networking of this kind will soon be a part of the everyday communication stack.”
GoTenna Mesh is anchored by intelligent mesh protocols (named “Aspen Grove”) that deliver a 100 per cent off-grid, entirely mobile, long-range mesh network. Until now such a technology was only available within expensive military tactical systems.
The GoTenna Mesh is also smaller and sleeker than the original goTenna, which makes it easy to pack with you and to ship internationally. This is the first goTenna product that will be available outside the United States —shipment begins later this year — and it will be sold in pairs for USD 179 (approximately EUR 165).
Along with goTenna Mesh launch on September, the company announced the release of goTenna’s premium service, called goTenna Plus, and goTenna open Software Development Kit (SDK).