A new smartphone app called Yo! has launched this week, letting users send messaging without the need of an internet connection.
The app lets smartphone users send messages, videos, photos and even other apps over a peer-to-peer network, in a simlar way to FireChat which baceme popular last year.
YO!, developed by Left of the Dot Media, claims to be able to bring high-speed connectivity and sharing to people for free, without investing billions in mobile infrastructure.
Not to be confused with the similarly-named Yo messaging app (which rose to fame last year with its ‘one word’ messaging app) the new app is aimed at the developing world.
Two-thirds of the world’s population – around five billion people – have no reliable internet connectivity due to a lack of infrastructure or expensive data plans.
YO! utilises a smartphone’s capabilities to enable connectivity between users, while also reducing the bandwidth burden on telecom providers.
“On my way to Barcelona, I spent one week in Bangladesh, putting YO! through its paces in some of the most challenging environments imaginable,” said John Lyotier, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Left of the Dot Media.
“We really take for granted the pervasiveness of connectivity back home in North America and through the developed world. Browsing the web, sending messages, downloading apps, and consuming content – this is simply not done in Bangladesh.
The free app was launched at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Monday (2 March) and is available through the Google Play store.
“It is not that these emerging markets don’t have access to technology that lets them online, it is just that it is too expensive and too slow,” Lyotier said. “Our goal is to change that and connect the unconnected.”