FireChat Alerts could help spread vital information in offline and disaster-stricken areas
FireChat is a great idea (messages jumping from phone to phone without needing an internet connection). However, this only works, if “everybody” has FireChat installed. I installed it once and only got weird messages in group chats that I started to ignore. So, the more people have it installed, the more useful the app will be.
Decentralized chat app FireChat is adding a new feature that could help disseminate critical info like storm warnings, health advisories and so on when the normal communications grid is down.
Truth be told, Alerts aren’t terribly different from the normal chat function, which passes data from phone to phone over an ad-hoc network that doesn’t rely on cellular signals. In the case of alerts, the info will be passed on automatically without the user’s involvement — of course, it would only be used for serious announcements, not sales or promotions. Think Amber Alert, not price alert.
Phones that receive the alerts will store them and retransmit whenever they encounter a device that hasn’t received the information, giving the feature a large time window.
Open Garden, the company behind FireChat and the peer-to-peer communication tech underlying it (and which, incidentally, launched at Disrupt in 2012), will formally announce and demonstrate the Alerts feature at the…
Read the entire article from TechCrunch here: FireChat Alerts could help spread vital information in offline and disaster-stricken areas