Beartooth lets you communicate with your smartphone when you don't have a Wi-Fi or cell signal

Imagine getting separated from your friends, family, or loved ones when you’re out hiking in the woods … or at a densely populated event like Coachella. There’s usually little to no signal, and no Wi-Fi hotspots you can connect to in order to communicate with the people around you.

That task of keeping people connected in similar situations has been mostly limited to long-range walkie-talkies, but now there’s a gadget that could lighten your load by replacing those devices with your smartphone.

Beartooth is a small rectangular device that connects to your smartphone via an app, and once connected, it can communicate with other Beartooth users in range. It has a five-mile line-of-sight radius for voice and 10 miles for text. It also has a two-mile non-line-of sight radius for voice with four miles for text. NLOS refers to obstructions to a radio transmission, such trees, buildings, or mountains.

beartooth phone

Once connected via Bluetooth, Beartooth offers push-to-talk services with individuals or groups, and the same for text messaging, while also giving confirmation when your message is delivered. You’ll also be able to share your location with your friends, and you can also find them on a map in real-time through the app.

“You’re seeing this trend of new technologies being re-sized, re-costed for smartphones.”

Of course, one Beartooth won’t do you much good, as it can only communicate with other such devices. But the gadget’s use is not just limited to the outdoors or low-signal areas — it can be helpful in emergency situations where cell signals can go down, as co-founder of Beartooth, Michael Monaghan, tells Digital Trends.

“I was [in New York] for a couple of big events, power outages, I was there for 9/11 and in all those cases the cell networks went down, so [Beartooth] would have been a way to continue to communicate,” Monaghan said.

The company demoed an early prototype of Beartooth that acted like a smartphone case back in 2014, and it was a part of the development process to create the current version.

“You’re seeing this trend of new technologies being re-sized, re-costed for smartphones,” Monaghan said. “We’re part of a trend of taking much more expensive, much bulkier gear that was hard to use, and making it super small, super cost-effective, and super intuitive because of the interface.”

Beartooth also provides access to offline maps and doubles as a battery pack with a 3,000mAh capacity. It can last for four days before requiring a charge, but if you use it to charge your device, you may be able to recharge your smartphone once and still get a remaining day of usage out of Beartooth (depends on the smartphone). It charges via a USB Type-C port.

The Montana-based company kicked off a crowdfunding campaign that ends in less than two weeks. If you pre-order during the campaign, you’ll get a Beartooth for $100, and two for $150. Once the product launches, each Beartooth will be priced at $300.

Beartooth will work with iOS and Android devices, and it will be shipping later in 2016.

Emerging Tech

CES 2019 recap: All the trends, products, and gadgets you missed

CES 2019 didn’t just give us a taste of the future, it offered a five-course meal. From 8K and Micro LED televisions to smart toilets, the show delivered with all the amazing gadgetry you could ask for. Here’s a look at all the big…

These point-and-shoot cameras make your smartphone pics look like cave paintings

If your smartphone camera just isn't giving you the results you're looking for, maybe it's time to step up your game. The latest and greatest point-and-shoot cameras offer large sensors, tough bodies, and long lenses -- something no phone…
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: heat-powered watches, phone cases with reflexes

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Apple’s iPad lineup is confusing. We break it all down for you

Trying to decide which iPad is right for you is a chore. What generation is the latest iPad? Which ones have been updated and which ones are collecting dust? Check out our iPad guide and we’ll break it down.

The most expensive Galaxy S10 could be the priciest Galaxy phone we've seen

Not long now; with 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.

Yes, Android apps can run on your PC, and it's easier than you think

Wish you knew how to run Android apps in Windows? It's easier than you might think and there are a number of different ways to do it. In this guide, we break down the steps so you can follow along with ease.

Biometric phone unlocks can’t be forced by feds, says U.S. judge

Fingerprint and face unlocks used to not be protected by the Fifth Amendment, but that may soon change. A judge in California has ruled biometric unlocking methods of all kinds are protected in the same way as passcodes.

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2019: Complete Coverage

There's no bigger show for mobile tech geeks than Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain: where flagship phones are born and intriguing new wearables shine. And this year, where foldable phones and 5G are likely to dominate the news. For…

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.

The Note 8 and S8 range now have access to the Android Pie beta

Android 9.0 Pie has been released. But is your phone getting Android 9.0 Pie, and if so, when? We've done the hard work and asked every device manufacturer to see when their devices would be getting the update.

The Motorola Razr may return as a foldable phone — for $1,500

The Motorola Razr V3 is one of the world's most iconic phones, and it could be making a stylistic return in the form of a foldable Motorola smartphone -- but it may cost around $1,500. Is the nostalgia worth it?

The iPhone XS Battery Case's battery has a smaller capacity than previous cases

Apple has been rumored to be working on a new iPhone battery case for the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. Now, those new cases are finally here, offering seven hours of extra use for each iPhone and are available for $129.

Join the Apple club with our complete guide to switching from Android to iOS

If Android simply isn’t cutting it for you anymore, then you might be considering Apple’s warm embrace. Here’s how to make the switch from Android to iOS without losing your contacts, sleep, or hair!