We are just back from delivering another training package in East Africa and while deployed, in what can only be described as some pretty austere and out of the way locations, we are reliant on handheld Motorola style radios for day to day communications. Motorola handheld radios have proved to be “Hoofing” bits of kit however, range can be greatly effected by both terrain and climatic conditions, this along with battery life and and the lack of any secure comms facility doesn’t create are harmonious relationship while training!
One of our Instructors recently came across goTenna….no its not a feminine hygiene product but a completely new and innovative method of conducting secure text communication through an IOS or Android mobile phone but without the need for any form of central connectivity/network!
goTenna works by way of a Bluetooth antenna system that links with a collapsible and highly portable antenna. It uses Long Range Radio waves to communicate with anyone else on your network who is also using a goTenna.
The guys from goTenna say that the device needs to be anywhere up to a maximum of 20 feet from your phone to achieve Bluetooth connectivity and will even connect and operate when your device is in Airplane Mode…..great way to save battery life and still communicate! You use a free App to text message or share a location and you can even conduct group messages. Messages remain safe and secure as they are encrypted and have a “self destruct” function once received.
Currently goTenna are quoting various ranges dependent on your position (transmitting-height) and the location of the receiving goTenna. As with all communications, terrain (forest, mountains, ocean, desert and urban) and possibly even climatic conditions can have an effect and wil no doubt reduce any speculated range? For the goTenna view on this take a look at the link below and see for yourself the ranges that they are claiming. If they prove true, this product could well be worth its eventual $299.99 USD price tag. goTenna are currently offering an introductory price for pre-orders of $149.99 for two devices!
We have yet to get our hands on a set however, we are waiting to receive our trial pair so that we can really put goTenna through its paces and give you some real and genuine “from the field” feed-back on what looks like an exciting new product.
Please check out the link below: