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Open Garden seeks to crowdsource mobile connectivity

New app allows you to share your Internet connection with every Wi-Fi-enabled device within 20 meters.

Open Garden

Open Garden wants to help you share your Internet connection with every Wi-Fi-enabled device within 20 meters.

The San Francisco-based mobile startup, which launched today at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, lets users create a large mesh network that allows all the Open Garden-enabled devices to automatically share Internet access and bandwidth, according to a TechCrunch report. Essentially, what Open Garden wants to do is create a crowdsourcing platform for mobile connectivity.

The mesh network currently only uses one Internet connection, but it will break down larger networks into smaller ones with about 10 nodes, TC reports. If the network detects multiple Internet connections, it will select the fastest one available and will switch to another connection if the original slows or goes off line.

Mobile carriers aren't likely to be fans of this app, but Open Garden believes they will eventually warm to the idea.

"We're no fans of the walls that surround the carriers' closed gardens," the company's Web site states. "But we believe that carriers will benefit by joining our open network. By adopting an open business model that supports the growth of intelligence at the edge of networks, they will be able to offer their customers a far better experience."

The Open Garden Mesh app, which was launched in private beta in February, is free to download and use. It's currently available for Android, Windows, and Mac, with an iOS version planned.

Open Garden's illustration of how its networks work. Open Garden