Depending on the direness of your situation, the app allows for several modes of communication. For example, if you're just looking to locate your buddies at a crowded music festival or event, you can send messages and ping your exact location to a specific user or group of people without fumbling around for a signal. Or, say you need to get in touch with someone during an emergency while out hiking or in an off-the-grid area; the "Shout" feature allows you to broadcast a message to anyone with a goTenna in range. Think of it as a modern-day S.O.S.
Of course, the usefulness of such a device is dependent upon other people owning and using them, too, so the starter pack—which is now available for a special pre-order price of $150—is sold with a pair.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor. He still communicates mostly by flare and smoke signal.