Open Garden is a new app for smartphones that allows sharing of mobile internet access among users.
According to Micha Benoliel, chief executive and co-founder of Open Garden, “… every smartphone is a computer and a router, so we thought it was the right time to interconnect all of these devices to gather to make general access more ubiquitous. As long as the devices are in proximity, they recognize themselves seamlessly. If one device in the mesh has access to the Internet, then the other device can benefit from it.”
In particular, this app benefits travelers who don’t want to pay for expensive roaming services. If they have Open Garden in their smart phones, and happen to be inside a hotel or restaurant they can’t have Wi-Fi access to, someone else having the same app can parlay the connection.
For example, Benoliel said “…you can be travelling and arrive at an airport and instead of paying expensive roaming charges, you can just connect to someone in the airport who has Open Garden.”
The app can also access the Internet by linking to other devices, including mobile phones or laptops.
Open Garden works for Mac, Windows, and Android devices. Currently, the company is developing features that would allow users to have more control on who gets a share of their web connections, and their data allotments.
Mobile carriers are concerned that they will lose revenue with this app, but Benoliel said that Open Garden can help offload the crowded 3G networks and 4G networks to larger-capacity Wi-Fi.