Communication although there is no sign of the operator or Internet access, and completely free is the promise behind the communication network that seeks to create the signature Open Garden with its mobile application FireChat, a courier that guarantees its operation in the middle social protests, concerts or football matches, outages or natural disasters.
Although it seems exaggerated, the app already proved part of that promise when, in late 2014, Joshua Wong, a young man of 18 years and leader of the democracy movement in Hong Kong invited hundreds of thousands of protesters to use the application to stay informed.
The reasons were simple: allow the app to send messages without network of mobile operators, unused data or internet access. The service would be available even if the government will decide to cut the country’s telecommunications.
“The issue of Hong Kong showed us the value of the application. In less than 24 hours recorded more than 100,000 downloads and by the end of that week we had more than 400,000 customers in that region. It was an unexpected explosion in its use, “said Christophe global CMO DALIGAULT Open Garden.
Within months, the application had another spike in the number of users. This time as a result of the arrest of opposition leader in Russia, Alexey Navalny in late December.
“Navalny FireChat used to inform their supporters on status; share information unfiltered and organizes some of the protests against his arrest. At that time we saw a spike of more than 25,000 users downloaded the application, “DALIGAULT said.
The executive explained that the phenomenon was repeated during the peaceful march was organized in France to protest the terrorist attacks against the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo.
Faced with so many protesters, networks of operators were saturated complicating outgoing calls or using mobile data. More than 12,000 French FireChat became his tool to know in real time flood affected mobilization.
“We are growing in explosions in different parts of the world and now,” said DALIGAULT adding that in Mexico the application reached the end of November 2014, the seventh position of the most downloaded apps in the Apple AppStore by protests and mobilization against the case of students missing in Ayotzinapa.
With more than five million registered users worldwide, FireChat bet is to create instant messaging application, not dependent on network operator or the world’s largest internet access.
To achieve this, FireChat intended use each mobile user as an atena or replicator, under the concept of Mesh Networks or mesh networks.
The application uses the wireless athens (WiFi and Bluetooth) smart to join nodes (users with the app) within the same network phones, each with the ability to transmit, pass or receive information.
As the network grows its scope, the signal quality expands; eventually allow everyone the same city, regardless of location, to communicate with each other in real time without the need to go through networks mobile or internet access.
“The technology is very new and few people understood. This type of communication systems work best measures there are more nodes or users within the network (…) If you enter only FireChat it will be a weird experience because you will see hundreds of people talking about different topics, ideally enter with five to ten friends and begin to understand how it works, “said DALIGAULT.
The executive says FireChat technology does not replace the networks of mobile operators, but could help to reduce congestion thereof and improve the quality of their services meet the growing demand for data services.
“It is estimated that in the next three years over 5,000 million mobile devices in the world were added. Today, with existing operators around the world are struggling to meet the demand of user data. Our technology could help to release certain amount of spectrum, “said the executive.
Open Garden platform could grow well beyond messaging services. According to the company, and currently has over 3,000 developers who intend to create services or functions for their “network or mesh of people.”
Beyond social unrest or natural disasters, the application looks to be present at concerts, sporting or social events where users complicate the possibilities of communicating.
“We want people to communicate before, during and after the concert or parties, they can send their pictures or comments to your friends and not rely on the network to operate,” said DALIGAULT.
The company worked a pilot in the Philippines, during the visit of Pope Francis, which allowed even creating special sections or verified (examples of communication media) who communicated through photos and text to users.
In the coming months, according to the executive, is already working on the development of private communication functions between groups and even between users.
“We will take a couple of months to develop the function, but you begin to experience. The idea is to deliver the level of private communication with apps like WhatsApp or Viber. Continue to grow the network to enhance the experience, “he said.