Probably the coolest thing I ran across at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market was goTenna.
Even if there is no wireless infrastructure where you’re headed, goTennna pairs with your smartphone enabling you to text and share your location with other devices. Or, maybe you want your own secure network. GoTenna will even work while your device is in airplane mode. Like, if you don’t want “the man” listening in on your messages. At least not without some serious work.
The device connects via Bluetooth so it must be within 20 feet of the goTenna, which retransmits messages in the 151-154 MHz band.
With location share and ping, think of it as a poor man’s Blue Force Tracker. Granted, range may be an issue due to the 2watt radio but looking at the advantages (location and secure txt), it’s definitely worth a look. They predict varying ranges but line of sight will have a lot to play in any results.
City street to city street: 0.5-1 mile
Forest to forest: 2-3 miles
Water to water: 4-6 miles
Desert to desert: 4-6 miles
In addition to subscriber to subscriber texting, you can also text to messenger groups. There is also auto message retry if the receiver is out of range. Compatible with Android and iOS, the goTenna offers RSA-1024 encryption and self-destruct messages. Conversely, you can store thousands of messages in the flash memory.
The rechargeable lithium battery offers a 3-day life. Weighing in at 2 oz, it attaches via strap to your pack or elsewhere. You could even mount inside a bag if need be.
So, think about it. Low power, Bluetooth connection, encryption, self-destruct txt, and all FCC approved. At less than $150 a pair, everyone should have a set just to keep track of loved ones at Disney.