New texting app can be used without cellular or Wi-Fi network
MeshMe lets users communicate without a cellular or Wi-Fi connection, providing enough other users are close by
A new smartphone app has been announced that lets users send text messages to friends without needing a Wi-Fi or cellular network.
MeshMe allows users to chat with several people at a time while the phone is in airplane mode as long as Wi-Fi or Bluetooth radio are on.
MeshMe CEO Jory Schwach said: "MeshMe uses what's known as mesh networking: it treats each smartphone running the app as a router, passing data from one handset to the next to get messages to recipients via the most efficient pathway. Even if you're acting as a node in this network, you can't read data sent over MeshMe unless it is routed to you."
"An iPhone MeshMe app was released last month, and an Android version is expected to be ready in several months," he added.
MeshMe can find contacts by combing the phone's address book or the user's Facebook profile.
When sending another MeshMe user a message, the phone asks devices nearby if they know the person it's looking for; if those devices do not, the message is passed on to other users. Once the phone finds a good path, it can route the data; and if the network changes, MeshMe will try to find a new route.
According to Schwach, the distance over which MeshMe will work varies according to the amount of wireless signal interference in the area (which increases if there are more phone-toting people around). The iPhone 6 should be able to transfer data via MeshMe at a distance of about 20 to 30 meters using Wi-Fi. Over Bluetooth, it's more like 10 to 15 meters.