Toronto-based hardware company just announced Sonnet, a new wireless device that connects smartphones where there’s no cellular coverage. It’s a sort of walkie-talkie-meets-long range router. You can send messages, image data and GPS locations without cellular coverage, satellite or internet access.
“Sonnet transforms your smartphone into the walkie-talkie of the 21st century,” said Boken Lin, Sonnet Labs’ founder and CEO. “But instead of sending low quality audio, you can now send text messages, images, and GPS coordinates.”
Sonnet provides a typical point-to-point range that varies from 1.5km (1mi) in the cities to 5km (3mi) in typical terrains to 10km (6mi) on mountain tops. It can help in wilderness situations, including mountain biking, as well as emergency situations like earthquakes or hurricanes, where communication is otherwise impossible due to power or coverage outages. There’s also a dedicated SOS button on the device that can be pressed to send GPS coordinates.
The Kickstarter campaign begins on June 27, 2017 and the device and app are expected to ship in Q4 of 2017. MSRP is $45 per Sonnet device, or $89 per pair.