OpenGarden’s Fire Chat app
OpenGarden’s Fire Chat app is a revolution which made possible for iPhone users to message each other, without a cellular connection or Wi-Fi,when nearby. Now, the app works with Android, too. So if you ever find yourself without Internet, you can still message away with anyone else in the area nearby you.The new cross-platform chatting, available as of today, comes with the latest release of the app, called FireChat <3 (“FireChat love”).
The Android app uses OpenGarden’s own mesh networking technology as it has no support for Bluetooth peripheral mode.And while mesh networking has a range limit of about 200 feet, users can daisy-chain devices, up to 10,000 of them, to create an extensive peer-to-peer network. This would result in a little bit of latency, but since the chat app is primarily sending text, it’s not really noticeable. FireChat uses a technology called “mesh networking,” an approach that creates peer-to-peer communication between devices instead of connecting through Wi-Fi or an Internet data plan. The iOS app uses iOS 7′s Multipeer Connectivity Framework, meaning that iOS 7 devices “[use] infrastructure Wi-Fi networks, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth personal area networks and subsequently communicate with those services by sending message-based data, streaming data, and resources ,such as files).
Daisy-chaining like this also means that the participating devices can have their own group chat room within the FireChat app, a feature the company launched last month. This is especially useful in low Internet connectivity situations. OpenGarden is an organization focused on net neutrality and is developing the Open Garden Mesh protocol that optimizes communication between wireless devices and access to the Internet.