Privacy is a hot topic. Edward Snowden, the NSA, massive networking technologies, surveillance. Its as if George Orwell’s 1984 book has come true and even more. There is also a lack of attention to privacy by the public. The government has become increasingly secretive and private in their actions when they should be transparent. Instead our lives are becoming more transparent than ever. Network technology is another hot topic. Service providers like Comcast and Time Warner have a monopoly. Prices are sky rocketing and not everyone has equal access or service. Networks have become a fundamental necessity and important piece of infrastructure for the United States and the rest of the world. Should these networks be privatized even though it is in this day and age a necessity? What happens when disaster strikes and service is suddenly unavailable? We cannot trust that these privatized companies are working for humanities best interests %100 of the time. A mesh network, that is a network where connection nodes are controlled and distributed by the people, can help bring the internet into the control of the people. This democratization of the internet – though messy and chaotic, is organic and free to change as people contribute and build onto it themselves. The true value comes from availability of networked communication. In a mesh network system, everyone can have access because your connection is no longer dependent on a single provider, but many thousands of smaller providers.
My project explores one of the ways you could connect, distribute, and share this connection. I built a mobile “node” which is solar powered, run by raspberryPi, and wearable. The raspberry pi can relay and send information through other nodes in close proximity using a wifi dongle.
More information, research sources, and images can be found in my blog post: