The goTenna is a radio antenna that can communicate with other goTenna units. Designed to work with a mobile app, it lets you send text messages to other goTenna users even without cell service or internet access in the area.
Designed for off-grid use, it lets you have a way to communicate even with no access to cell towers, WiFi networks, or communication satellites in sight. Need a way to text friends who split with the main group during a hike? This will do it. How about text-chatting with friends on the secluded private island while you take the Wally 55 Power Boat out for a ride? This will work. Basically, it’s a personal communication network open to anyone with a goTenna and a smartphone.
The goTenna is a bar-style piece of hardware that can be clipped to a belt loop or a bag zipper for easy portability. To use, simply pair your goTenna with a smartphone (iOS and Android) over Bluetooth, launch the app, and you’re duly equipped to text anyone with their own goTenna in tow. Since it’s a private network, texts arrive fast, with messages quickly transmitted via low-frequency radio waves in under a second. All messages are self-destructing and come with end-to-end encryption for security. It can send and receive messages from any goTenna within a 50.5-mile range.
The device has onboard memory that can store up to several thousand messages, in case it isn’t paired to a phone yet (it will immediately push messages as soon as it connects). Onboard battery, however, is only good for 30 hours of active use, so you’ll have to find a way to keep replenishing the thing for use in the wild outdoors.
Slated to ship late in the Fall, the goTenna is now available for preorder. Price is $149.99 a pair.