About this project
goTenna Mesh is the first 100% off-grid, mobile, long-range consumer-ready mesh network. The device pairs with your smartphone to enable communication even when you don’t have service. Absolutely no towers, routers and satellites required! Create people-powered connectivity absolutely anytime, anywhere.
Send text messages and share GPS locations on offline maps with others. Chat privately in 1-to-1 or group conversations, or broadcast to any other goTenna Mesh device up to several miles or kilometers away all without using towers, routers or satellites.
Each tiny-but-mighty device is powered by game-changing networking protocols which intelligently — and privately! — relay messages through other users. You can potentially double or triple any device's effective range and create a network that gets stronger the more people join it!
Whether you're traveling overseas, spending time outdoors, attending a crowded event, or preparing for an emergency, goTenna Mesh is useful in any situation where cell service or wifi is unavailable, unreliable or unaffordable by empowering you to create essential connectivity during any adventure.
Pair wirelessly to your phone
goTenna Mesh pairs seamlessly to smartphones via Bluetooth-LE (Low Energy, 4.2), with minimal smartphone battery usage. (In fact, you can even turn your phone into Airplane Mode to preserve its battery, as goTenna Mesh will still work. Just remember to toggle Bluetooth on!)
Super-smart protocols enhance functionality & make it easy for you to use
goTenna Mesh's protocols do all the hard work behind the scenes so you can use the messaging app the way you’d use any other. Except, of course, goTenna Mesh will work when others won't!
Using the goTenna app, send private 1-to-1 and group chats as well as broadcast to anyone within range. Count on delivery confirmation receipts, and easily download free, detailed offline maps of the entire world before you go off-grid. You’ll never have to worry about interference or channel-switching, the way you do with analog walkie-talkies. Radio + smartphone = intelligence!
The freedom to communicate over great distances, no service required
goTenna Mesh sends messages via a 1-watt UHF radio transmitter without relying on towers, routers or satellites. The range will usually be up to 3 miles (4.8 km) in open terrain, and up to a mile (1.6 km) in congested terrain. You can get much more in certain environments but we like to under-promise and over-deliver. (Plus... you can mesh! And the goTenna Plus app upgrade enables a network relay feature, so you can reach people beyond your off-grid network. If a goTenna Mesh user nearby has cell service, they can transmit your message via SMS to your intended recipient.)
(goTenna Mesh uses publicly available spectrum, intelligently selecting frequencies & power levels that are permissible in your region.)
Revolutionary mesh networking technology (the future is now!)
goTenna Mesh's first-of-its-kind mobile ad hoc networking (MANET) protocol enables you to intelligently relay your messages through other users to get to your recipient(s) when they are out of point-to-point range of you. This makes it more likely your messages will get through in difficult situations, and creates a network that gets stronger the more people join it. And not to worry: this all happens automatically and privately.
Here's a demo that helps explain how meshing works, using prototypes & phones in Airplane Mode. Because transmissions between goTenna Mesh devices are literally invisible, we've added voice-over to explain what's happening:
(Fun fact: Our mesh protocol is called Aspen Grove, named after aspen tree colonies which share a common root structure that can expand over huge areas, and is resilient enough to survive harsh forest fires. Like a mesh network, aspen trees find strength in numbers and grow from the bottom-up.)
If you’d like to learn more about goTenna Mesh and how it works from a hardware and RF perspective, we recommend checking out the latest episode of Adafruit’s Ask An Engineer, which features goTenna’s hardware engineers:
Keep in touch with those you spend time outdoors with, from hiking to skiing to fishing, and just about anything in between.
No more expensive roaming fees or international SIM cards — simply use goTenna to stay connected with your travel-mates on trips abroad.
Enjoy the crowd without getting lost in it — avoid overwhelmed cell towers at packed festivals and crowded events and stay in touch with your group.
Exchange critical communications with friends and family as well as others nearby during emergencies, even when the power is out and cell towers are down.
• 1-watt UHF radio (tunes to frequencies & power permissible in your region)
• Flash memory good for 100's of messages
• Rechargeable Lithium-polymer battery (24+ hour battery life on standby)
• Micro-USB connector
• Bluetooth-LE data interface (BT 4.2)
• LED indicator light
• Thermoplastic elastomer attachment strap
• Weather-proof (fine in all kinds of rain & grime!)
• 4.2" x .9" x 1.3" (106.5 x 18 x 33 mm)
• Weight: 1.7 oz (48 g)
• Compatible with iOS and Android devices
• Open SDK — build any other application atop goTenna Mesh (e.g. turn a goTenna Mesh device into a relay device unpaired to a phone to extend range even when there's no one around!)
We're honored to partner with Telecom Without Borders (Télécoms Sans Frontières - TSF) for this Kickstarter campaign.
TSF is often first on the scene in places as wide-ranging as Syria and Haiti, from Nepal to Burkina Faso, setting up emergency communications for disaster response at the heart of crises, in refugee camps and emergency medical facilities. In addition, TSF works on development programs aimed at delivering communications technology to isolated communities as a way of preventing emergencies or mitigating their impact, as well as bridging inequalities inherent in the digital divide.
Every reward level in this campaign leaves room for you to donate toward a group contribution that provides goTenna Mesh to this incredible nonprofit organization.
Help us get to $600,000 in pledges and we’ll develop a new mesh statistics feature for the goTenna app. This feature will enable users to view specific information about their transmissions, including how many total messages are relayed through your device, and how many times your messages have relayed through others’ devices. Mesh Statistics will be stored locally, and securely, until a user decides to share them via imeshyou.com. Check out our latest Campaign Update for more details.
PLUS: For backers who already pledged at least $129 (the sold-out “early bird” price for a pair of goTenna Mesh devices), or a reward level that includes at least one pair of units, increasing your pledge by $79 allows you to add a third (or fifth, seventh, ninth!) goTenna Mesh device to your reward. Give another goTenna Mesh to a friend or use it as a phone-less relay node between you and other users to extend range and the power of your mesh network!
Help us get to $400,000 in pledges and unlock the ability to choose our limited-edition Black goTenna Mesh – perfect for hunting, or maintaining a low profile while traveling.
goTenna Mesh is people-powered connectivity, so we've created imeshyou.com to build community around it!
After supporting this campaign, please register your goTenna Mesh "node" on the map at imeshyou.com. You can register as anonymously as you'd like, and place a pin for your main location as well as other places you plan to use goTenna Mesh.
Search for other mesh founders, and use the hashtag #imeshyou on social media to engage in ongoing conversation. Invite friends to join goTenna Mesh! More people = more possibility, for both off-grid and on-grid uses!
goTenna is a startup building next-generation communication technology but we're really the friendly nerds you see here:
It all started when founders (and siblings) Daniela and J Perdomo recognized that people need to be able to communicate without centralized communications infrastructure, and sought to address that need by leveraging the smartphones everyone already has in their pockets to create a resilient and scalable parallel network created from the bottom-up by people instead of top-down heavy infrastructure.
goTenna's mission is to reduce our reliance on cell and wifi by enabling anyone to create people-powered networks on their own terms, free from central points of failure, charges or fees, and geographic limitations. We're building the best communication technology by focusing on decentralized solutions that are low-cost, low-power, easy-to-use, and intelligently reconfigurable for any situation.
Our first product, goTenna
Our first device, named simply goTenna, is the first and only way to use your phone to communicate over long distances even when you don’t have service. It was architected and developed by our team in Brooklyn, New York, in the wake of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.
We started shipping our first product last year and it's received numerous gear and design awards. We've now shipped tens of thousands of devices directly to consumers and through retail avenues like REI and Amazon, as well as into hundreds of public safety groups such as search & rescue teams and disaster relief non-profits. We've also been lucky enough to win government grants to address resilient communication needs by various beneficiaries such as military personnel and small businesses.
Our second product, goTenna Mesh
goTenna Mesh is our second-generation product and takes us one step closer to our vision of empowering people to create connectivity whenever and wherever they need it. We can’t wait to get this powerful little product in your hands — look how far it's come already:
This is our progress tracker. While delays are of course possible, this is the most accurate timeline right now:
Risks and challenges
— The Good News —
This isn't our first time bringing a product to market. After lots of hard work, we successfully delivered our first product last year. Today we sell at various premier retailers, and also into public safety organizations who depend on goTenna in critical situations. Through software and firmware updates, we continue to make our award-winning first product better and better.
In the last year, we've more than doubled in size as a company and have been focused on building this next-generation product, goTenna Mesh. We're not going to use funds raised through Kickstarter to learn first-time lessons, or hire a team. Instead, this campaign is about building community around mesh, as well as harnessing your best ideas to make the new product great.
First manufacturing tests are in process, extended testing continues, and we'll keep making improvements until we ship. Our contract manufacturing (CM) partner is the same union shop we partnered with to make tens and tens of thousands of units of our first product. Our quality assurance (QA) processes have resulted in an <1% fail rate and we aim to hit similar numbers with goTenna Mesh.
All the most essential signs point to our being on track for a product release as successful as our first.
— But You Should Also Know —
Stuff happens. Every creative act is, in part, an act of risk — when you are making something new, unknowns are the name of the game. That's part of why we offer lower pricing for Kickstarter supporters, because we know you're taking on that risk with us.
Something unexpected could throw a wrench in our well-laid plans and cause delays. But we don't know what those will be or if they will happen. We can, however, assure you that we will always manage decisions with the utmost transparency and care for you. We are committed to both quality and timeline, but if we are forced to choose between the two we'll choose quality because we know that's what you expect.
— International Backers, Please Read —
• While goTenna works everywhere, we can't ship everywhere. As a communications device, goTenna Mesh is regulated in every country and/or region. If you cannot find your country in the drop-down menu when you try to input your shipping address, please contact us and tell us if that makes you sad/mad and we'll make a point of getting to you as soon as we can.
• In some countries, it may take several months to get through the licensing process, which means that when we start shipping, some international orders will be held until necessary certification is complete. Please make sure to check our updates!
• The simple fact is some places are more expensive to ship to than others. We've set shipping fees based on your country when you select your reward level. We are not making any money on shipping, and are in fact subsidizing a portion of the cost for you. Rest assured that this is still the best pricing anyone you'll ever be able to get on goTenna Mesh — by getting in early on Kickstarter you're getting the best deal. Thanks for understanding!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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