App Keeps Texts Flowing When Networks Fail
It wants to spread like wildfire … and save lives. FireChat, a free service that allows users to create mesh networks and send texts via Bluetooth or peer-to-peer Wi-Fi when they’re close enough together to establish a connection, is already a favorite among Burning Man attendees and Hong Kong protesters. Creator Open Garden has earned praise for helping dissidents circumvent government censorship. But its next big venture is teaming with Marikina — a city of 400,000 in the Philippines — to help residents stay connected during natural disasters.