Many companies are looking for ways to keep you connected off the grid without using expensive satellite services. Following in the steps of devices such as goTenna and Ueppa!, new company Beartooth created a peer to peer communication platform that simply snaps onto your phone.
Beartooth’s technology enables iOS and Android phones to communicate even if the cellular network is unavailable, failed, or congested. Using a software controlled UHF/VHF radio, Beartooth lets you communicate with fellow Beartooth device owners within a few miles–both voice and data (current devices on the market offer just data).
If no other Beartooth users are around, the device is compatible with regular UHF/VHF frequencies so you can use your smartphone as an old-school PTT walkie-talkie in a pinch. A simple user interface lets you choose to transmit to just your Beartooth contacts or to communicate on the open channel. If you find yourself in danger, Beartooth supports SOS broadcast messages to any device within range.
When sending messages, the Beartooth delivers a confirmation notification so you know your message reached its destination. You can choose to broadcast your position to other users at defined intervals, while a map-based UI on your phone provides one click access to call or text nearby Beartooth users.
The Beartooth case is actually two devices in one — it’s also a 2,000mAh backup battery that should double the life of your current phone battery. Beartooth’s current plan is to support iPhone 5/5S/6/6+ and Galaxy S4/S5 phones–so unless you own one of these you are out of luck.
The company still needs to get FCC approval for the product so don’t count your chickens just yet…. The final price is as of yet undetermined, but this first demo batch went for $250 per case.