Press release: Award-Winning Off-Grid Communication Device goTenna Officially Available
BROOKLYN, NY - Nov. 23, 2015: goTenna, the first and only device that enables smartphone users to communicate without cell service or WiFi, recently shipped to early supporters and is now officially available to all at gotenna.com. New orders will ship in time for the holidays.
goTenna recently won a grant from RISE : NYC, a competition funded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) and administered by the NYC Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) intended to identify technologies that will make cities like New York City more resilient. More than 20,000 people associated with over 10,000 small businesses located throughout coastal Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, and Brooklyn, encompassing some of the city’s most diverse and economically disadvantaged communities, will receive free goTennas so they can coordinate with other community members in the face of future natural (or manmade) disasters.
“We’ve spent the past year refining so that goTenna is reliable, even when central connectivity isn’t,” said goTenna co-founder and CEO Daniela Perdomo. “The ability to reach someone — whether that’s in an off-grid or outdoors location when you’re out hiking or traveling and looking to make plans, or in an emergency, when everything is at stake — can be priceless. goTenna empowers people to easily create networks on their own terms, no matter what.”
Ideal for any off-grid situation — planned or unplanned — goTennas communicate on a peer-to-peer basis via long-range radio waves (151-154 MHz) and offer consumers a private, subscription-free way to communicate up to one mile in most urban areas and up to about 5 miles in most outdoor scenarios. The sleek yet rugged device is smaller than a Snickers bar and allows users to send and receive text messages and share GPS locations via a smartphone app that pairs to goTenna over Bluetooth-LE. goTenna is powered by proprietary networking protocols that make each unit a cognitive, autonomous node that can reconfigure in an ad hoc manner. Users can chat one-to-one, in private groups, or broadcast publicly.
“Public safety and military personnel depend on radio frequency (RF) technology, but what they use requires training, and are very heavy and expensive,” Perdomo said. “By marrying smartphones’ ease-of-use and computing power to tried-and-true RF technology we’ve made goTenna a low-power, low-cost, deceptively intelligent device that feels like any messaging app — except it’ll work when no other can.”
goTenna has received numerous awards including “Gear of the Show” from Outside Magazine and CES Innovation Awards honors in the “Technology for a Better World” and “Wireless Accessory” categories.
To learn more about and purchase goTenna, please visit gotenna.com. goTenna is sold in pairs for $199 and is compatible with iOS and Android devices.
Based in Brooklyn, goTenna is a hardware startup founded by siblings Daniela and Jorge Perdomo, who came up with the idea after Hurricane Sandy when over a quarter of cell towers were downed and power went out, cutting access to WiFi and cell service for people in the 10-state area affected by the storm. Beyond an emergency situation, the use-cases became apparent everywhere: hiking in remote areas, traveling, attending crowded music or sporting events, living in rural areas, and even communicating privately. The company’s goal is to empower people to communicate directly using the phones they carry around every day, without having to rely necessarily on central connectivity. The company’s first product is aimed at consumers, though goTenna aims to tackle institutional and emerging markets as well and redefine communication according to need as opposed to access. To learn more, please visit gotenna.com.