Your Personal Cellphone Tower
The goTenna lets you conference in from remote islands, mountain ranges, and suburbs with shoddy Verizon coverage.
Our smartphone dependency comes with a downside: When there’s no towers, there’s no reception, and no Google Maps. The result? That long-planned trip through the Alps or Appalachian Trail can take a turn for the lost or come with a serious dose of missed messages. The goTenna, a battery-powered radio antenna that puts the grid back in your off-the-grid adventures, fixes that. The stick-like device (it sort of resembles a gigantic pack of gum) wirelessly connects to your smartphone, giving it the ability to beam your messages and precise location to a fellow goTenna user, even if you’re miles from the nearest cell tower. So whether you’re sailing the Adriatic, sliding down ski slopes, or sequestered in a blackout, you’ll still be able to pump out priority messages. The device is meant to clip onto a bag, which it does unobtrusively, and has a miles-long range, and days-long battery life. The antenna comes bundled in packs of two, and you can reach out to any person who has a goTenna. Just be sure to choose your emergency contact wisely. [$150 for two, gotenna.com]