The problem of communication in a foreign country or during an emergency is a huge one, compounded by the usually prohibitive costs associated with it. And even then, when a system is finally in place, it usually isn’t as reliable as it needs to be.
So, after receiving countless awards for its inaugural product offering focused on the problem, the team behind the wildly successful goTenna is back at it again. This time, its goTenna Mesh not only connects people using a signal it generated on its own but also takes advantage of each users’ device to double or even triple its capable range. This allows users to send direct messages, establish message groups unencumbered by distance and download maps to be used offline, with the network growing stronger as more people use goTenna Mesh devices. An interesting aspect of the device is that while it pairs using Bluetooth to a smartphone, the smartphone itself can be switched to airplane mode to conserve battery and still be usable. This tiny design consideration allows for phones to last much longer than they would normally, perfect for wandering a foreign city or taking it into nature where there won’t be very many opportunities to charge a smartphone. A pair of goTenna Mesh devices is going for $149, $30 off its eventual retail price, and is slated to ship in December 2016. The goTenna Mesh Kickstarter campaign is looking for $50,000 by October 28th, 2016.
The goTenna Mesh is very similar to the Beartooth, a mesh network-capable connectivity device that also incorporates voice messaging and smartphone charging with its built-in 3000mAh battery. While the lack of the features in the former isn’t a dealbreaker per se, they do seem like somewhat of a misstep in an otherwise very solidly made and useful product.