This 6 inch long gadget pairs with an iOS or Android device using Bluetooth. It then connects with other goTennas miles away, allowing their paired phones to communicate with one another over peer-to-peer links. It’s mainly an out door device and depending on their presence will operate anywhere in the world.
Mainly in their words this is how they work.
goTenna enables you to communicate without any need for central connectivity whatsoever—no cell towers, no wifi, no satellites—so when you’re off-grid you can remain connected. In fact, goTenna will even work if your smartphone is in “Airplane Mode”! How does this magic work?
Pair your smartphone to your goTenna device wirelessly, using Bluetooth-LE. Your goTenna needs to be within 20 feet of your phone, so that the two can communicate with each other. Use our free app to type out a text message or share a location. Your smartphone will send the message to your goTenna, which will then shoot it out, via long-range radio waves, to the intended goTenna(s). At the other end, the exact same thing happens, in reverse: the recipient goTenna sends your message over Bluetooth-LE to the smartphone app it’s paired with. All of this happens in a matter of milliseconds.
The goTenna will be able to transmit to any goTenna user within range. What kind of range can you expect? That‘s greatly dependent on your geography. See above to get a sense for what range you can expect in specific environments (open water, suburban, urban, forest, desert) and elevations. Elevating the goTenna increases its range drastically. Another way to improve your range is to attach it externally to other gear (e.g. a backpack), as opposed to having it at the bottom of a bag.
Its forecast to ship in the late autumn and can be preordered (as a pair) at a discounted price of $149.99 from now. Initially available in the USA & Canada you can ask about other country details No doubt if/when there is UK availability duties taxes & shipping charges will apply
We’ll leave you with their slightly inappropriate video!
Sources: Gigaom & goTenna
We have no commercial arrangements with goTenna.