A new messaging application seeks to give people a way to communicate in situations with little or no cellular connectivity.
Berkanan, founded by Zsombor Szabó, is a group messaging application that uses Bluetooth to send and receive messages. This means that Berkanan works on a plane, at a festival, in a camp or in any other place where cellular coverage is disappointing.
Imagine people on a plane asking each other for the best movie recommendations from the in-flight entertainment system. or people at a festival that decipher a meeting point to meet between sets. Public messages are automatically deleted after 24 hours.
In addition to group messages, Berkanan also allows private one-to-one messaging, as well as audio calls made through Bluetooth. The range for these calls and messages is approximately 50 meters, but if there are people between you and your recipient with the application installed, Berkanan can send more messages through the devices of other users.
Berkanan will also show users if they are getting closer or further away from the user they are sending messages to, without ever showing the exact location of the person.
Group chat with strangers in your location may seem a bit complicated at first glance, but the group chatting with strangers is essentially the basis of Twitter. However, with Berkanan, a common location replaces the #tema.
Berkanan is completely blocked, but Szabo has implemented an unconventional method to generate revenue.
Inspired by games like Fortnite, which make money with personalized skins, dances and other virtual elements, Berkanan will charge users to edit their profile. When a user logs in, their profile will consist of the name assigned to their iPhone and their profile images will be their initials, similar to the iOS contact interface.
Users can pay to add their own profile image and add a short bio to their profile.
To be clear, it is already possible to send SMS through Bluetooth. But Berkanan offers a way to convey that message to everyone (with the application) in its location. Of course, the acquisition of the user is fundamental for the application, so Szabó is considering ways for the company to take advantage of the application.