Everyone's favorite mesh networking startup Open Garden today announced its 2.0 refresh at LAUNCH festival, having allegedly already served 2.1 million installs since version 1.
Readers would be forgiven for not remembering exactly what Open Garden is, or why it's interesting – we last covered the app in its beta stage.
Basically, the idea behind Open Garden is to create ubiquitous internet access by linking various smart devices together and sharing a common internet connection in a mesh network. For example, if your smartphone is connected to the internet, Open Garden would allow you to create a mesh network to which your tablet, another phone, a PC, or all of the above could connect. Read More
Open Garden is hands down one of the most impressive apps I've seen this year. The app, first introduced at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2012 as the startup that would go on to win the conference title of Most Innovative Startup, allows users to create an "open garden" of internet connectivity for multiple devices to share. The startup's official website explains it this way:
The operators sell us fancy handsets, but behave as if broken networks are a fact of life. … Imagine, instead, if all of the smartphones in any location could use their formidable processing power to share access to the Internet.
Ah, the power of open. A team of people (mainly developers) has come together to develop a new communication method for times when existing infrastructure just doesn't work. They've come up with two systems:
The Serval Project consists of two systems.
The first is a temporary, self-organising, self-powered mobile network for disaster areas, formed with small phone towers dropped in by air.
The second is a permanent system for remote areas that requires no infrastructure and creates a mesh-based phone network between Wi-Fi enabled mobile phones, and eventually specially designed mobile phones that can operate on other unlicensed frequencies, called Batphone.