HOME     MENU     SEARCH     NEWSLETTER    
NEWS & INFORMATION FOR TECHNOLOGY PURCHASERS. UPDATED 14 MINUTES AGO.
You are here: Home / Cloud Computing / GoTenna: Work-Thru for Dead Zones
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost Enterprise Cloud Computing
On Force.com
GoTenna Gives Work-Around for Smartphone Dead Zones
GoTenna Gives Work-Around for Smartphone Dead Zones
By Dan Heilman / NewsFactor Network Like this on Facebook Tweet this Link thison Linkedin Link this on Google Plus
PUBLISHED:
JULY
18
2014



Smartphone users often become used to the frustration of sitting in a dead zone with no Wi-Fi or data service. But if a New York City start-up has its way, those times will be a thing of the past. GoTenna is taking pre-orders for its flagship hardware product, which it says will let smartphone users communicate via their own closed network much like a high-tech pair of walkie-talkies.

GoTennas are sold in pairs. One user keeps an antenna nearby (in a pocket or backpack -- something within 20 feet of a phone) and it connects to his or her iOS or Android phone via Bluetooth low energy, or Bluetooth LE. A second user does likewise.

If the two antenna holders are separated, the goTennas create a closed network using low-frequency radio waves, and users can send messages to one or more goTenna users without connecting to a telephony network or Wi-Fi. The company says no messages are stored on a server, guaranteeing user privacy.

A free app provided with the antennas is used to type a text message or share a location. That message travels from smartphone A to goTenna A to goTenna B, then to smartphone B -- all in milliseconds. The provided app also offers offline maps and full messaging capabilities.

Range Varies

The range offered by goTenna depends on the user’s location and nearby topography or environment. The company offers an interactive module on its Web site that simulates what to expect in various environments and elevations. GoTenna says the antennas can reach 50 miles in range if they’re in the right location. That range narrows down to a few miles in congested urban environments.

The goTenna battery will last around 72 hours with intermittent use and around 30 hours if it’s on constantly, according to the company. When turned off, it can hold a charge for more than a year.

The developers say the product was borne of frustration reaching friends and family via smartphone even when they were in areas that presumably should have solid reception. They say one application for goTenna is in emergency situations -- company co-founders Daniela and Jorge Perdomo came up with the idea during Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

We asked CEO Daniela Perdomo why nobody else has thought of this idea before.

"There is something of an innovation paradox when it comes to goTenna's technology," she said. "We're marrying old, not-very-sexy RF engineering with the modern smartphone, and making them both better in the process."

Daniela serves as the company CEO while her brother works as CTO.

Units Selling Fast

The Perdomos developed goTenna using their own money, then raised $1.8 million in seed funding last year. Among their backers were Bloomberg Beta, Andreessen Horowitz and MentorTech Ventures.

A crowdfunding pre-sale aimed to earn $50,000 with goTenna. While the company wouldn’t disclose how many units it had sold in the pre-sale, "we can tell you that we reached our $50,000 campaign goal in 2-1/2 hours," said Daniela Perdomo.

The antennas sell for $150 per pair during the pre-order period, but the price will double once the discounted units are sold out. The units will ship in the fall.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Like Us on FacebookFollow Us on Twitter
TOP STORIES NOW
MAY INTEREST YOU
ISACA® offers a global community of more than 115,000 IS/IT constituents in over 180 countries. We develop and deliver industry-leading certifications, education, research and business frameworks. We equip individuals to be leaders in the fast-changing world of information systems and IT - Learn More>
MORE IN CLOUD COMPUTING
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

NETWORK SECURITY SPOTLIGHT
Sony is no stranger to breaches. Sony’s PlayStation Network was hacked in 2011 and attackers obtained 77 million user accounts. The latest attack comes against Sony Pictures Entertainment.

ENTERPRISE HARDWARE SPOTLIGHT
Doctor Who had K-9, the robot dog that accompanied him on adventures through space. Now, Mountain View has K5, a 5-foot-tall, 300-pound robot security guard patrolling in the Bay Area.

MOBILE TECHNOLOGY SPOTLIGHT
Beleaguered handset maker BlackBerry is targeting iPhone users with an offer the company hopes they can’t refuse -- $550 to leave Apple and switch to the new BlackBerry Passport.

© Copyright 2014 NewsFactor Network, Inc. All rights reserved. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.