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When seen through the lens of technology, few resources are truly scarce; they’re mainly inaccessible. 

 

Peter Diamandis

FireChat lets you text friends, even without a signal

RATE THIS! +18
Posted in Software on 1st Oct, 2014 10:58 PM by AlexMuller

It's a new iPhone app that lets you chat and share photos with nearby users, anonymously, if you so choose. But instead of relying on global positioning or cell tower triangulation to plot you and others on a map, FireChat relies on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to transmit messages between nearby users. You can open the app and chat with others, even if you don't have cell service.

 

With each new user that logs on, FireChat's range expands. "As long as there is a FireChat-enabled device to act as a node in the chain, there's really no geographic limit to how big the ad hoc network can be," creator Micha Benoliel tells GigaOm. FireChat works by leveraging one of iOS 7's lesser-known features called the Multipeer Connectivity Framework. The framework lets apps communicate with each other locally over Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, even without an internet connection. AirDrop works in a similar way, letting you send photos to nearby iOS users.

 
Few developers have thus far implemented the technology, perhaps in part because there don't seem to be very many scenarios where modern tech consumers lack internet access. So Firechat's pitch involves chatting at sports games, trade shows, concerts, on the subway, or on an airplane, a set of obvious scenarios where cell service is poor or nonexistent. But upon further examination, the app's potential utility is much bigge

Tags: chatonlinehardwaresoftwareiOSiPhonemobile

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