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July 18, 2017

GoTele is your personal communications network for the backcountry

by John_A

Why it matters to you

The GoTele allows smartphone users to communicate via text messages, track each others position, and send an SOS alert even when a cell network is unavailable.

Staying in communications while traveling off the grid has always been a challenge, particularly in areas where cell coverage simply doesn’t exist. But, a new device called the GoTele wants to make it easier than ever for hikers and backpackers to not only send messages to one another, but also track each other’s location, even when trekking through some of the most remote areas on the planet.

The concept behind the GoTele is a simple one. Users pair the gadget with their smartphones using Bluetooth technology, and install a special goTele app (iOS and Android) on their mobile device. The app allows them to send text messages to other goTele users who are within range, both individually or as a group. It also has the ability to transmit GPS coordinates, allowing users to see each other’s location displayed on a map in real time. The app even lets users create geofences on the map, providing them with an alert should one of the other goTele devices move outside of the designated area. This makes it easy to track younger hikers, or even pets, who may have wandered away.

As an extra safety measure, the device is equipped with a dedicated “SOS” button. When pressed, the GoTele will send an alert to all other users within range, letting them know that someone is in need of help. It even shares the location from which the SOS was transmitted, making it easier to find the person in need. This feature works independently of a smartphone, meaning it can be used even if the mobile device is left at home or runs out of battery life.

Lightweight and compact, the GoTele was designed to hook onto the outside of a backpack or clip onto a belt or other article of clothing. The device has been given an IP67 rating, which means that it is water, dust, and drop-proof, and has been built to function even in extreme environments. The designers of the gadget say it will continue to work in temperatures as low as -4 degrees and as high 140 degrees Fahrenheit, and since it uses Bluetooth LE, it should offer solid battery life, too.

The GoTele launched as part of an Indiegogo campaign that went live today. The team behind the device hope to raise $50,000 to get it into production. If successful, they hope to begin shipping the product as soon as October of this year. You can pre-order one now for as low as $79.

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