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. The result would be an open garden – one without walls. Our handsets would be free to guide each other to the nearest available Internet offramp, regardless of whether it’s a wifi hotspot, a 4G base station or a femtocell. This is the world as Open Garden foresees it, a world in which we start to ease the chronic congestion on mobile networks.
One of the best things about Open Garden is its utter simplicity. Setting up a mesh network where all your mobile devices (and laptop/desktop) share a connection is an absolute snap, as demonstrated in the demo video below.
As you can see, using Open Garden is exceedingly easy. The app can connect devices to the "mesh network" quickly and easily, automatically sharing connectivity and allowing the user to provision that connectivity to whomever he or she wants to connect to the network.
In the words of Fred Wilson of AVC, "this is a big idea." Open Garden is not only an innovative solution, but one that has a ton of potential. Considering the fact that it's free in the Play Store, there's absolutely no reason not to try Open Garden. Just hit the widget below to grab the app, and head to Open Garden's website for the PC or Mac companion app.