CNET First Look
GoTenna Mesh stays connected while you go off the gridThe GoTenna Mesh device helps Android and iOS smartphones send long-range messages without the need for a cellular signal.
A trip to the wilderness can be a relaxing break to unplug from city life, but it's tricky to stay in touch with other people in your group once the bars drop out of your cellular service. So that's where the goTenna accessory comes into play. It's a small communication device that connects to Android or iOS smartphones via bluetooth and creates a low frequency radio wave network Allowing users to send messages and broadcast GPS coordinates to other goTenna carriers. And despite the fact that it doesn't provide an actual data plan for web surfing. It can still transmit a signal from nine miles and even further depending on the source elevation. The company just launched the kickstarter for the second device, the goTenna Mesh, which uses mesh networking to share device connection and relay messages to wide and coverage area So here's how the product works. Before you and a buddy head out off the grid, clip the goTenna mesh to your bags and download the offline maps to your destination. Available through the app for iOS and Android. Once you're out there, if you and your buddy wander off and get out of range, you can still send a message to each other using the mesh network as long as there are other goTenna users around. So the device will automatically crawl the area trying to locate other users with a strong connection it can use to slingshot your message forward. Like the flagship model, the GoTenna will also show read receipt, log and send GPS coordinates and includes a function called shout that lets you transmit information to any GoTenna device in range. The company is using Kickstarter for initial funding and it also just announced an open SDK for developers. So whether you're camping off the grid, filling a go bad for emergency situations, or travelling anywhere without a reliable cellular connection, you can check out the Kickstarter page and contribute to get your hands on your own goTenna Mesh. [MUSIC]