Open Garden launched at TechCrunch Disrupt NY more than two years ago. At that time, the company was focused on building a mesh network for Android phones, but since then, it has also found success through its FireChat app for offline chatting. Today, the company is expanding into the Internet of Things.
Open Garden’s Mobile Network for IoT devices allows devices to talk to each other over the same mesh networking technology the company developed for its mobile apps. Besides just talking to each other, though, the system can also use a single access point to pass information to the Internet. All you need is one device in the network that is connected to the Internet.
The first devices to use Open Garden’s technology are TrackR‘s key finders. You can only find your keys if they have some way to reach the Internet, after all. If they are behind your couch at home, that’s probably not a problem, but if you drop them on the street, there’s no way for them to ping you. With Open Garden, every time another TrackR user (or somebody who has one of Open Garden’s apps installed) comes within 100ft of the lost item, their phone will set up a connection and alert the owner.
TrackR has sold about 250,000 devices so far. Between the Open Garden mobile app, FireChat and the TrackR app, Open Garden has a decent reach at this point, but it’s still not a ubiquitous solution. To get to that point, the company will need far more partners, so it’s making an API available to device manufacturers to implement its service for their own devices, too.