We live in an incredibly connected world of cell phones and wireless internet, but even those systems have their limits. Anyone who’s tried to make a call in a cramped conference center or at the top of a hiking trail can confirm that.To get around this pervasive and frustrating problem, consumers can now look to a new product called GoTenna, but that doesn’t mean they will. GoTenna is an incredible concept that still may not be practical enough to take off in the technology market.GoTenna consists of a small, low-power radio transceiver powered by a lithium-ion battery. It connects to any iOS or Android device via Bluetooth and allows you to create a separate, encrypted network for sending messages to other devices on the same network. Essentially, it turns your smartphone into a CB radio with a range of up to 50 miles, depending on your location.
Once the Bluetooth is connected, all users need to do is download the GoTenna App to start sending messages. With the default setting, only your targeted recipient can read the message, but the “shout” feature allows you to message any GoTenna users within the range of your antenna. WiFi and cell towers aren’t used at all.
“Excellent communication is absolutely essential to effective day to day business,” says Bevan Hoynick, President of Benchmark Data Solutions. “Companies and organizations must be able to share knowledge and ideas to transmit a sense of urgency to others. If a company can’t get a message or direction across clearly and motivate others to act on it, then this can limit the way a company is functioning.”
The problem with GoTenna is that you’ll still be restricted to messaging only people on the GoTenna network. This may be great for people who go wilderness exploring in pairs, or a business like an oil rig that buys them in bulk for their employees to communicate within the company. If you’re the only one with a GoTenna, it’s not going to help you at all.Right now, consumers can pre-order a pair of GoTennas for $150, but after the initial production run is funded, that price will double. While this may be what’s required for the company to recoup its manufacturing costs, it may be too high a price for the average consumer to pay, especially with it’s limited connectivity.