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GoTENNA lets you text & map on your smartphone even when there’s no signal

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Headed out in the woods, backcountry, or middle-of-nowhere gravel roads and worried about how you’ll communicate with your riding buddies when the cell towers no longer reach you? GoTENNA has you covered.

The device pairs with your smartphone via Bluetooth Low Energy (BTLE) and then uses its 2-watt digital VHF radio to broadcast text messages and your location to individuals, groups or anyone within range. The device works offline, and has a 24 hour battery life (on standby), and even comes with free offline maps downloadable through its app. Range is claimed at up to four miles in the wide open great outdoors and about one mile in an urban environment.

Text messages transmit immediately, just like when using your regular chat client, and even have delivery confirmation and message retry. It’ll also use your smartphone’s GPS to locate you and let you share that with others. Or, request their positions.


Only sold in pairs starting at $199, the device needs another to talk to, but you can get them in sets of two in higher quantities for families or groups. It’s dustproof and water resistant.

Apps are available for Android and iOS and will communicate between the two different operating systems. They recommend using it with the latest update for each OS, and while the app’s designed for phone-sized screens, it’ll work with iPads, tablets and even BTLE-compatible Kindles.


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Jason Miles
8 years ago

Seems like cool tech to absorb into all cell phones. If you have to buy a $199 separate piece why not just use a two way radio, with much higher range and lower cost?

8 years ago

Hi Jason,

I would like to respond to your comment as I am with goTenna. With the walkie talkies that are flooding the market it is hard to get a message across without it being inadvertently stepped on by other users on the same channel. The other issue is if someone accidentally changes channels it’s quite hard to find your way back. goTenna will automatically find the channel with the least interference and move the conversation to it, no changes need to be made by either userWith goTenna you get encrypted messaging as well as message confirmations to know the recipient has your intended message in its entirety and nobody else does. Please let me know if you have any questions.



Peter Kundrat
8 years ago

Jason – weight is a sufficient reason. If this device was able to talk to walkie-talkies, then i would prefer it over heavy dumb bricks.

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