It is natural that the communication systems supported by internet and cellular networks fails to provide service in scenarios such as natural calamities, war times, and terrorist attacks. They are the situations where even the most advanced systems can’t guarantee its technical perfection to the customers.
Here, Fire Chat – a new free messaging app developed by San Francisco based Open Garden Foundation, is an exception. When the internet connection is available, you can be either in ‘Everyone’ mode to connect to the global community of Fire Chat users, or switch to ‘Nearby’ mode to chat with the people around you. The advantage of Fire Chat is that it will keep you messaging even if there is no connectivity or cell phone coverage. Fire Chat relies on Mesh networking technology. Mesh technology creates a network among nearby smartphones that can be linked together with relying on Bluetooth signals. In addition to instant messaging and file transfer, if one Fire Chat user is connected to the internet, everyone in that mesh can use that connection to browse. Open Garden has released iOS 7 and Android versions for this app.
It seems a drawback that the range of Nearby mode is only 210 Feet (70 meters). But, it is uniquely suited for areas where there is no or limited internet access (such as public transportation systems, construction sites etc.). Additionally, it offers a communication mode for users in scenarios such as natural disasters where the centralized communication infrastructure goes down.