goTenna Mesh-powered ski/snow resorts! Looking for ideas, intros, partners!

#1

Hi all! We’re looking to partner with ski resorts and adjacent groups like ski shops, ski schools, ski patrols, heli guides, mountain SAR, etc. to build out custom solutions that ensure complete goTenna Mesh coverage this winter season, both to ensure a backup communications network in case of an emergency AND to cover “bald” spots of no coverage which is quite common when you’re not on a main run, off-trail, in bowls, on “the other side of the mountain”, or generally away from town or lodges.

The target, too, is to create a network that can be used by both public safety and consumers. The plan would be to set up strategic stationary relay nodes in addition to get mobile units in as many people’s hands as possible.

If you or anyone you know works in these areas and might be interested in talking with us, please let me know! Also generally excited to hear any/all ideas regarding this initiative! :slight_smile:

#2

Will work on Sierra at Tahoe. Two nodes can probably cover the entire mountain. Working on email contact but until they open for the season in Nov/Dec hard to get ahold of anyone. Would be easier to get in touch with full time resorts like Northstar or Squaw but they also have big budgets for radio comms. Ski patrol everywhere already uses radios and generally better since you can hear but not look/use phone while skiing, but they’re expensive and not always available for regular staff that could also help in an emergency, and no GPS for dispatch. Would love others to chime in on what angles to approach with other than supporting a consumer network for skiers.

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#3

Awesome, thank you!

On first part (“you can hear”) we actually get a lot of feedback that with voice-based radio comms, you can’t hear sometimes (especially if you’re skiing at speed or otherwise distracted, etc.), and it’d be better to be able to get a text you can check the next time you can as opposed to missing it entirely.

On your latter comment (“no GPS for dispatch”), we’ve certainly heard quite a bit that the location feature is a big missing thing in standard radio comms both for staff “situational awarness” and for locating people who need help, etc.

In the end, idea is not for goTenna Mesh to necessarily have to replace standard radios already being used, as they can be used to expand capability and perhaps be used redundantly for those who would prefer that.

#4

This is true, and reminds me of something - sometime during testing while out hiking, I realized that with no cell or wifi, my bluetooth connected Apple Watch was alerting me to incoming gotenna messages. Phone was safely stored in a backpack since it was raining. I’ll have to get a picture of this you guys can put on the website, it was a “AHA!” moment for sure.

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#5

Hi all, just wanted to bump this up so anyone else who might have ideas and/or connections might see this thread :slight_smile:

I was just connected to Vail Resorts, but I think we really should talk to people at smaller resorts where they might be more open to trying something new out – less bureaucracy, is my guess!

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#6

Once I get my mesh units, I’ll probably talk to our county EM/SAR team about them. I’ve been on one of their missions, and know they have issues with their radios sometimes in the Gorge (we are in eastern KY near the Red River Gorge and Natural Bridge State Park). With the GPS feature, it could help keep track of personnel when our county and surrounding SAR teams are working on the same mission, or have to split up into groups. It would also help to have a second means of communications here if a tornado or similar disaster happened.

Side note: Can y’all sell relay specific nodes? Then if you wanted to set up a permanent relay station, instead of sacrificing one of your antennas, you could just purchase a node that’s already ready to be mounted for that purpose? Preferably with solar + battery, of course. Then you could alter the firmware to not count those nodes as a “hop”!

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#7

I haven’t heard back from Sierra at Tahoe, will try a few other contacts there. Here is the letter I sent that anyone can copy/paste to their local ski resort. I’ll also send one to Bear Valley off highway 4 in CA, I’m not there as often but they are a small resort / mountain that may be interested.

To: ski resort emails
CC: partnerup@gotenna.com
Subject: Partnership with Gotenna for mesh network communications

I’m not sure who to contact about this exactly, so thank you in advance if you can assist reaching the right people at ski resort name regarding this partnership proposal.

I’ve been a long time user of a product called Gotenna by a company of the same name. It’s a small radio device the size of candy bar that connects to your smartphone with bluetooth and lets you send text messages and share locations with anyone else that has the same device, no cell phone networks or internet required. I’ve been using it for a couple years while skiing at ski resort name, and in areas where there is zero cell phone coverage, I can still use my phone to text with my friends that have the same device to plan when and where to meet up. It works great.

They just started a partnership program to reach out to ski resorts, because their new product, Gotenna Mesh, can relay messages across multiple devices to create a “mesh network” to greatly increase coverage. So by strategically placing a few of these tiny Mesh units across the mountain, anyone that has one can relay private, group, or public safety messages to reach any other user anywhere on the property.

Copied below is the partnership message from them which is why I’m sending you this email. I’ve cc’d Gotenna so you can just reply all and let us know what you think.

Thanks so much for reading!
More about Gotenna is at http://gotenna.com


From Gotenna:
Hi all! We’re looking to partner with ski resorts and adjacent groups like ski shops, ski schools, ski patrols, heli guides, mountain SAR, etc. to build out custom solutions that ensure complete goTenna Mesh coverage this winter season, both to ensure a backup communications network in case of an emergency AND to cover “bald” spots of no coverage which is quite common when you’re not on a main run, off-trail, in bowls, on “the other side of the mountain”, or generally away from town or lodges.

The target, too, is to create a network that can be used by both public safety and consumers. The plan would be to set up strategic stationary relay nodes in addition to get mobile units in as many people’s hands as possible.

If you or anyone you know works in these areas and might be interested in talking with us, please let me know! Also generally excited to hear any/all ideas regarding this initiative!


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#8

I know some people associated with Powder Mountain in Utah! Will poke around…

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#9

A quick way to get widespread support by ski areas would be to somehow turn gotennas into ski beacons. Imagine a person buried in an avalanche. Their phone would no longer give you a GPS position. But, if there was a beacon mode, that skiers could turn on, that automatically sent out a shout ping. Then the person’s gotenna, who gets buried, would be acting like a beacon. Then what’s needed is a way for the app on the searchers device, to calculate a rough distance based on ping rate, which could be triangulate between three or more devices. I’m dreaming big because we just had a big avalanche here in Taos Ski Valley, bury two guys, one of which died, and the other is in critical condition. They were buried for almost an hour before they were found.