No Signal? Pocket-Sized Device ‘goTenna’ Will Help You Stay Connected
Stuck in the desert or the mountains or even at home with no signal on your smartphone? Here’s the best way to communicate. GoTenna, a Brooklyn-based startup is offering a solution for off-the-grid travelers who need low-cost connectivity for their smartphone – and it doesn’t even rely on satellites.
This device connects to your phone via Bluetooth and turns it into a low-frequency radio with a range of several miles (up to 50 miles). Using an iOS or Android app, that’ll let you text or share GPS locations (no voice calls) over an unlimited, free ad hoc network with other goTenna users.
The team behind it says that everything is encoded, and the app will automatically retry until your message goes through. goTenna, however, doesn’t give your smartphone LTE-style data, so no Twitter scrolling or Facebook browsing.
The device is a little too big for your pocket, but it clips easily to a belt or a backpack. The company’s planning on selling a limited number for $150 per pair on their site to raise $50,000 in funding, after that, it’ll sell for $300.