Two years ago, my family went on a mission trip to Honduras. Despite a few minor setbacks, like our flight being cancelled at the airport, or realizing we forgot our sunscreen and getting really sunburnt the first day we were there, everything pretty much went smoothly and it was an incredible experience. The only real hindrance was the lack of communication among our group. See, once we arrived in Honduras, we split up and we each trudged off in different directions to work on separate tasks with the people of Honduras.
I worked in the dental clinic, assisting the dentists as they filled cavities and pulled teeth. My husband and boys’ helped to build houses and pour concrete floors. We thought our teenage daughter was painting at the church, until my husband took a break and couldn’t find her.
It lead to a few frantic moments until we were finally able to determine who she was with and where she was. While many of the Hondurans had cell phones (which really surprised us), our smartphones wouldn’t work and while we really didn’t think about our phones while we were there, they would have come in handy when we had a question the organizer had to answer, or in our case, when we were looking for someone.
When I heard of goTenna, a device that enables people to stay connected even when you have no cell signal, I immediately thought of our trip to Central America. How amazing would it have been for our team to have been able to communicate freely?
goTenna is a device that enables people to connect without relying on cell service or Wi-Fi. This device works with your cell phone. By pairing the two, using Bluetooth Low-Energy and the free goTenna app, you’re able to type out a text message or share your location with a goTenna user via long-range radio waves. Your goTenna will be able to transmit to any goTenna user within range.
I literally took mine out of the box, downloaded the app and paired it to my phone in minutes. It was very easy. How far the goTenna will transmit depends on several factors- if you’re in an urban or rural setting. You can expect anywhere from one to five miles of coverage.
Once you’re ready to use goTenna and it’s paired with your phone, you simply turn it on by pulling the end to its full extension and fastening the nylon strap onto your coat, belt loop, backpack or other gear.
Brother and sister, Jorge and Daniela Perdomo, founders of goTenna, realized the need to have a reliable communication system during the wake of Hurricane Sandy. With cell phone towers downed and power and internet out, millions of people in 10 states were affected and unable to communicate. goTenna is a solution to communicating in an emergency situation. The rugged, weather-proof and water resistant devices can be used beyond emergencies. goTenna can be used by hikers, travelers, those attending outdoor festivals, music or sporting events, mission teams, and disaster relief personnel. The company has also been awarded government grants to provide this first product to those who live in areas that are vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change.
goTenna plans to offer additional products to reduce our reliance on cell towers and Wi-Fi routers and aim to provide anyone the ability to network anywhere in the world free from charges or fees.
goTenna comes with a 1-year limited warranty. It works on Bluetooth-LE enabled Apple devices running iOS 8.4 or above and Android smartphones running 4.3 or higher above, also Bluetooth-LE enabled. Plus, it’s safe to send through the airport X-ray machine. The goTenna’s nylon attachment straps are available in four colors, and are paired in a green and blue, or orange and purple combination. Family packs are available that are shipped with one device in all four colors.
Now I can’t wait to hit the trails and put my goTenna to use.
When would you use goTenna?
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