Open Garden makes its offline mesh networking tech available to third-party developers

Open Garden, the company behind the FireChat offline messenger, is now the mesh networking tech behind its apps available for all developers. The company today announced the launch of its MeshKit SDK, which enables developers to easily integrate peer-to-peer connectivity into their apps, at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The classic use case for this is chat apps, but it also works for more media-rich services or pushing even smaller updates like sports results.

For now, the SDK, which had quietly launched on the company’s website a few months ago, will only be available to Android developers but the company tells me that it will also launch an iOS version soon. Developers will also have to contact the company for access to the SDK.

MeshKit will allow for all the standard connectivity scenarios that you’d expect from a mesh networking SDK. These include making access to the internet available to all the devices in a mesh through a single connected node, as well as a fully offline scenario. The company also notes that all messages that flow over the network will be end-to-end encrypted.

The company’s launch partner for this new SDK is Studio Sol, a Latin American music app publisher that will use these new capabilities to allow its users to share music with their friends — even when they are not connected to the internet. The company will also use the SDK to enable offline app distribution. Because these app downloads don’t depend on Internet speeds, Open Garden expects this kind of app distribution to be a good 15 times faster than using a 4G or even a WiFi connection.

Open Garden tells me that there will be a fee for the SDK, but it wouldn’t tell me what the fee will be. “We don’t have set fees yet — however app developers can reach out to us to discuss pricing if they’re interested and for more information,” a company spokesperson said when we asked for more details.