goTenna is a small, rugged device that pairs wirelessly with your smartphone to allow you to send text messages directly with others even when you don’t have service—no towers, Wi-Fi or satellites required. goTenna works anywhere on the planet, enabling you to connect privately and free of subscriptions or fees, with anyone else who has the device. First, your goTenna needs to be within 20 feet of your phone, so that the two can communicate with each other. Then, you use their free app to type out a text message or share a location. Your smartphone will send the message to your goTenna, which will then shoot it out, via long-range radio waves, to the intended goTenna(s). At the other end, the exact same thing happens, in reverse: the recipient goTenna sends your message over Bluetooth-LE to the smartphone app it’s paired with. All of this reportedly happens in a matter of milliseconds. Your goTenna will be able to transmit to any goTenna user within range (up to 50.5 miles) — which is greatly dependent on your geography. Elevating the goTenna increases its range drastically, so it’s recommended to attach it externally to your gear (e.g. a backpack), as opposed to having it at the bottom of a bag. As the company tries to reach its $50,000 USD goal, the goTenna is currently available for a special pre-order discount price of $149 USD per pair. After discounted units sell out, the price will be increased to $299 USD per pair.
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