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Mobile Messaging App Lets People Chat Off The Grid

Mobile Messaging App Lets People Chat Off The Grid
technology

Firechat uses wireless mesh technology to connect people, even when there's no Wi-Fi or cell service to be found.

Lara Piras
  • 27 march 2014


FireChat is a new messaging app that takes advantage of iOS 7’s Multipeer Connectivity Framework, enabling people to chat and share photos without any kind of Internet or Bluetooth connection.

Created by crowdsourced connectivity provider Open Garden, FireChat works by using wireless mesh networking, a system that relies on a small number of wired access points or wireless hotspots to connect people. The network connection extends into hundreds of wireless “meshnodes” that “talk” to each other to share the network connection across a large area. Each FireChat-enabled devices acts as a link in a larger ecosystem, creating a network that can grow exponentially.

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Released only last week, the app is a strong contender in the mobile messaging game and is the only consumer wireless messaging service of its kind. Existing models such as WhatsApp and Blackberry Messenger still need Wi-Fi to function.

The technology behind the app shows off a mainstream use for wireless mesh networking, which has typically been used in rural areas that are devoid of any service. FireChat brings connectivity to places like baseball stadiums, library basements, and even deserted islands. This means it can also reach developing countries and connect them to other areas on a more global scale, enabling these citizens to have the same benefits from a tech perspective as the Western world.

Check out and download the app by clicking here.

Images, Sources: Cultofmac, The Verge

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