When Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey coastlines, a large number of zonal cellphone towers were devastatingly affected leaving millions of residents stranded without a cellphone service or power. Less than two weeks later, Daniela Perodomo, has outlined designs for a GoTenna, a device that could have given individuals stuck without service the ability to make calls or texts. By February 2013, Daniela Perodomo has physical prototypes.
goTenna is partially disaster relief-smartphone accessory that Perdomo invented with the assistance of Brooklyn-based design firm Pensa - before goTenna, Perdomo worked at a string of New York-based software businesses. goTenna is a five-inch aluminum and nylon device that pairs with a basic iPhone or Android messaging app. At a point when users lose service, they can simply open that app to text other goTenna users!
This is how it works: the texts first get sent to the local goTenna device over Bluetooth LE, from where the device carries onto radio frequencies to transmit an analog version of message to the person on the receiving end. The process is possible because of the circuit board, radio chips and antennae hidden within. goTenna users can also send group messages as well as send their current location to contacts – a feature specifically designed for emergency situations. The battery on goTenna lasts about three days on, or up to eighteen months all of which depends on its usage.
"Regarding individuals imparting when they don't have administration, toward one side of the range are walkie-talkies, and on the other are satellite specialized gadgets, which are super costly," Perdomo says. "Walkie-talkies are enormous burdensome gadgets that individuals use at Disney World. You need to convey them notwithstanding your telephone, they just let you do voice correspondence, you need to verify you're on the same station, you hear everyone's' discussions they're irritating." Gotenna streamlines the greater part of that movement: Besides the two-ounce device that stays in your pack, just a cell phone is required.
“In terms of people communicating when they don’t have service, on one end of the spectrum are walkie-talkies, and on the other are satellite communication devices, which are super expensive. Walkie-talkies are big clunky devices that people use at Disney World. You have to carry them in addition to your phone, they only let you do voice communication, you have to make sure you’re on the same channel, you hear everyone’s’ conversations, they’re annoying.”
When Perodomo and her cofounder-brother Jorge Perodomo first started outlining plans for the device, little did they realize that the gadget could come handy in many situations and places: camping, music festivals, large sporting events, skiing, travelling in foreign locations and so on. Perodomo spent a major part of her R&D process surveying the products at REI, considering which devices individuals would truly want to use outside.
Perodomo says disrupting the telecommunications industry isn’t the company’s goal. Here’s a strong example of it: An individual in New York won’t be able to reach someone in San Francisco. I do think there is something to decentralizing communication, to the idea that every person can be their synonymous node, and that you can create a communications system on your terms, on need as opposed to access,” she says.