Firechat is a new, innovative app that allows people to send messages without relying on an internet connection. The exciting new service offers a lot of potential, but it wasn’t designed for long distance communications. The service works best when the chatters are within 10 meters of each other. The new app is available for iOS and Android.
How the Firechat app works
Firechat works by linking phones using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connections, but it can also tap into mobile connections when necessary. Firechat is growing in popularity among users who congregate in massive crowds of people. The company even tested the service during last year’s big protest in Hong Kong.
Privacy International’s Richard Tynan told the BBC that Firechat seeks to offer end-to-end encrypted messaging service. It is part of a bigger plan to encourage user privacy, but it remains unknown whether the plan will work.
Firechat app offers potential for new technologies
Firechat made waves back earlier this year. It was even suggested the mesh network technique (as used in Firechat) that could be used to link thousands of devices with built-in radios together to make free internet access possible. This solution would be ideal for people who live in remote or disaster-affected areas and otherwise lack access to Wi-Fi or cellular signals. Michael Liedtke for the Associated Press added, “FireChat could be an even hotter commodity on Android given the demographic differences between that platform’s user base and the typical iPhone owner. The app already has been installed on more than 1 million iOS devices.”
Android-based smartphones are often cheaper than iPhones, which explains why Android phones are more popular in less affluent nations. Google also happens to be one of the companies seeking new ways to get the entire world online, and one of those ways is mesh networking. Mesh networks are a form of network topology. It works when each node relays data for a network. Mesh nodes work together to distribute data in the network. The networks carry message with either routing or flooding techniques.