People-Powered Networks

WindFarm.0: An Experiment in Off-the-Grid Communications

Despite the small computers in many of our pockets, when the Internet goes down or when there is no Internet infrastructure, it is surprisingly difficult to communicate digitally. We are tied to our centralized communication systems.

On May 15th and 16th, the Guardian Project convened a group to discuss new strategies in off-the-grid communications at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society.

"Wind is the untapped energy that is all around us, spontaneous and often unexpected....In this case, it inspires a metaphor to describe a new way to connect and share digitally, that is not the Internet, and not the Web, but some place new, one that is right in the air around us."

During the event participants experimented with Commotion Wireless to provide a battery-powered wireless network across the campus, Gilga (Pinwheel) to distribute messages over Bluetooth, F-Droid for app sharing, Courier news sharing, and Pirate Box as a battery-powered image collection repository. We also experimented with leaving short, poetic messages on NFC stickers.

More information about the event: http://windfarm0.link

Author:

Ryan Gerety