Here's the problem... smartphones turn to dumb bricks when cell & wifi service is gone. While a bunch of products have attempted to marry alternative communication like two-way radio to the smartphone platform, trying to add an additional layer of technology is problematic. We've seen prototypes of handheld radios glommed onto backs of smartphones, only to see them fall victim to ever changing smartphone technology, falling short in keeping up with the endless parade of new models & new hardware.
But goTenna took a different tack... make a simple device to establish an independent peer to peer communication mode. Instead of adding something new to smartphones, goTenna simply enables smartphones to do what does already... send & receive text...and enables it to do so when it can't be done through normal means.
A goTenna is a cognitive digital radio combined with an app that generates its own signal and automatically coordinates with other units within range. It does all the heavy-lifting, so you can chat 1-to-1, with a group, or even broadcast openly to anyone nearby. Distance is it's only limitation. The goTenna has a VHF signal in the unlicensed portion of the MURS band, transmitting 2 watts, so location, elevation, & surroundings are the only unknown variables where range is concerned. Still, you may count on 1 to 3 miles as typical. In my case, out on the bike trail I got just over 2 miles away before I lost connectivity to my other goTenna, although it was more due to terrain than distance. If I was on flat ground I would have likely got further.
|Couldn't be any simpler...|
Being a text only device, goTenna is not hamstrung by bandwidth & power needs that voice and imagery require. And since the link between goTenna & smartphone is via bluetooth, any bluetooth equipped smartphone can use a goTenna. You install the free goTenna app available for Android or iOS, pair with the goTenna device, and you're sending & receiving text with other goTenna equipped smartphones.
goTenna is packaged in pairs, so you have an alternative text communication method for you and one other right out of the box. You're not limited to just that pair of goTennas, you can broadcast to any goTenna within range. There's future potential with the technology to establish a mesh network, and goTenna maintains the capability lies in further development. In the meantime, this magic wand device offers you a way to stay in contact using your smartphone, when everyone else is carrying bricks seeking a cell signal or wifi hotspot.
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