04 Apr FireChat & the Future of How We Connect
There’s a new iOS app on the scene and it goes by the name of FireChat. While the concept of this chatting app is pretty standard, the network innovation that backs it certainly is not. We’re typically used to chatting via text message, Skype, FaceTime, WhatsApp and a number of other different methods that require cellular connection or real Wi-Fi. What makes FireChat such a hot commodity amongst other chatting methods is its data-free connectivity. What does this mean? Essentially, FireChat users are able connect and chat by the simple means of nearby Bluetooth or peer Wi-Fi networks. This direct connection with other individuals no longer demands actual cellular connection, which means that communicating and sharing is much more accessible.
FireChat is also an interesting app in that it literally includes everyone in your country. The app, which doesn’t even require one piece of personal identifier information, operates like one giant chat room. Here, users are given the luxury of sharing messages and data with other individuals who are in nearby nodes.
What does this connectivity mean for the future of web design and mobile apps?
The new FireChat app makes use of Apple’s Multipeer Connectivity Framework, which is the peer feature allowing for media sharing with nearby users. Here, they’ve created a wireless mesh network where users “invite” one another into various sessions without data connection. Much like all of Apple’s innovative launches, the concept of mesh networking has the power to blow up since iOS devices are so widely used.
Imagine the possibilities that can occur regarding simple data sharing without the need for data connection. If you’re ever in dire straits and need to communicate your whereabouts to anyone, you’re golden. If you’re at a massively crowded venue and trying to locate a friend, you’re golden.
While there are a number of benefits from FireChat, and the network platform on which it operates, it also poses a few challenges. Will this ease of file sharing monopolize storage platforms like Dropbox and the like? Now, users can simply connect and share at the drop of a button, literally! What will this mean for other companies that have thrived on providing a space for users to share and store data?
The absolute future of FireChat and the underlying platform that has caused this exciting discussion is unknown. However, we can anticipate further developments and subsequent reliance on this convenient and innovative network.