OpenGarden, the Ram Shriram backed company behind the off-grid messaging application Firechat, has now opened up its technology to other app developers via a new platform called MeshKit. OpenGarden's technology allows for data transfer from peer to peer, device to device, over WiFi, and connecting multiple users by using the WiFi capability of their devices. Firechat had come into prominence shortly after it launched when protesters at the Umbrella Revolution student protests in Hong Kong used it to communicate with each other. In India, it was used at the NH7 Music Festival, where mobile data connectivity is usually patchy owing to the presence of thousands of users at a single venue at the same time: messaging without having to connect to the Internet has its own set of use cases, but these are fairly limited because the proximity is limited to 30-70 meters. However, with MeshKit, OpenGarden is enabling sharing of music, video, and applications for installs. Paul Hainsworth, Open Garden’s CEO, told MediaNama that they're planning to announce partners in India soon, and are in conversations with several app developers. The first partner they've announced, though, is Studio Sol, a Brazil-based music app publisher with 25 million monthly active users, allowing sharing of music playlists and content between users, without the need for them to connect to the Internet. "They have 25 million monthly active users, and their struggle is that their users don't want to download music over the cellular network, and wifi isn't everywhere," Hainsworth said. "So they want to increase…
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