GoTenna co-founder Daniela Perdomo knows that her run was “silent for a long time,” but she said it was for a good reason – the team was busy turning his prototype into something that can be ” manufactured on a scale. “

The company aims to help users to communicate even when they have no cell signal, whether it is because they are in the desert or in a crowded festival. The company launched a preorder campaign halfway through 2014, and now the product is officially available for purchase.

Early users experienced goTenna for things like tourism, snowports and quiet outdoor activities like hunting and fishing. Perdomo gave me a little less adventurous demo, when I visited the offices of goTenna Brooklyn – after downloading the application (something you probably want to do before to go to the desert) and interface with the firmware and devices Android, it could send text messages, even without a connection to a mobile or WiFi.

These messages can be sent to one-on-one, in groups, or even broadcast to all nearby. (Do not worry, you can also block users.) Users can send their location GPS, as well as to view a pre-loaded card – useful if you are faced with some emergency situation and need help, or if you’re just trying to meet a friend.

Given the prevalence of the outdoors, at the precedents Perdomo acknowledged that some people might wonder, “Is not the point of being off-the-grid to be outside the network?” In other words, if you ‘Re going skiing or rock climbing, or something you really want to you friends, to be able to text you?

“It’s not about Instagramming world,” said Perdomo. “It’s about saying,” Come meet me at that sunset. This is where I am. “

to back up this argument: goTenna not let you share nothing but text and arrangement, at least until


Devices light, weighing only 1.8 ounces, and is designed to be clipped to a backpack or other equipment. Perdomo said that the range will vary depending on terrain. – In New York, it is usually limited to a few blocks, or half a mile, while the outdoor group reported communication at a distance of four or five miles

With respect to power, the device must be able to send 700 messages and receive much more than that of a single charge.

GoTenna devices cost $ 199 per pair. You can not buy them individually, but hey, there is not much sense in text alone. (There is currently $ 25 Black Friday / Cyber ​​Monday discount, which includes limited edition black-on-black devices). Perdomo said that it destroys about $ 100 per unit, is considerably smaller than fancy satellite radio.

Even better, there is no monthly fee. Perdomo said the company eventually may charge for additional services, but the possibility of core messages will always be free. In the end, she and her brother Jorge came up with the idea in part as a way to communicate during a disaster like Sandy, so it would be pretty bad if people were cut off in an emergency, because they can not keep up with their payments.

In the same vein, goTenna actually a partnership with New York City Economic Development Corporation to provide a device for small businesses so that they could communicate during a disaster.