By this point, most of us are fully addicted to our smartphones. And when we find ourselves without Wifi or data service, our most direct connection to everything becomes almost useless. That’s where GoTenna comes in.
The device is launching into pre-order today, and lets users create their own closed network on which they can communicate. Here’s how it works:
Let’s say you’re out in the woods camping with a big group. You keep one GoTenna in your bag or near your person and it connects to your phone via BluetoothLE. Since they’re sold in pairs, you can hand off the other GoTenna to someone else in the group, who also pairs it with their own smartphone.
Let’s say this group splits into two, and one is running late. Without ever connecting to a telephony network or Wifi, the GoTennas actually create their own closed network using low-frequency radio waves, offering users the ability to send messages and drop locations to each other.
Of course, messages and locations are sent through GoTenna’s own app that offers entirely offline maps and full messaging capabilities.
GoTenna users have the option to send private messages to a particular user or group of users, but there’s also a system in place for emergency situations.
Let’s say you’re in the middle of the East Coast devastation during Superstorm Sandy (which is where cofounders Daniela and Jorge Perdomo came up with the idea), and you’re hurt or lost. You can send a “shout” to all GoTennas within range that will alert all GoTenna users that you needs help.
Depending on location, GoTennas can actually create a fairly sizable network, with ranges up to 50 miles in some places. In the city, however, surrounded by rock and steel and concrete, the GoTenna can only communicate within a few mile radius.
Obviously, this can be used when you’re off the grid, at a festival or concert where there’s too much volume on the network, or traveling abroad.
According to the company, the GoTenna will last around 72 hours with intermittent use, and around 30 hours if it’s on 24/7. When turned off, it can hold a charge for more than a year.
The GoTenna is now available for pre-order in pairs for $149 ($75/each). This is a special pre-order discount as the company tries to reach its $50,000 goal, but after discounted units sell out, the price will jump to $299 per pair.
Check out the GoTenna here.