Pervasive Media Studio Lunchtime Talk: Precious Cargo - an application for Mesh Mobs

Where: Pervasive Media Studio, Watershed, 1 Canon's Road, Bristol, BS1 5TX

When: 20 January 2012 1:00pm to 2:00pm

Smart mobs. Flash mobs. Subtle Mobs. Crowdsourcing. Participants in the Arab Spring. These and crowds of other types have become the subject of much interest in recent years. While a visiting professor at ITU Copenhagen for six weeks in October & November, Tim Kindberg started a project on Crowd Computer Interaction. Among the main motivations were the needs of Occupy and other protest movements; plus interest in the extent to which riots and looting were coordinated and documented in the Summer of '11 using mobile phones. ??? ???If you're the 'wrong' sort of crowd, 3G may be switched off by the authorities. Or 3G could fail in a disaster scenario. What's a crowd to do? Equally, outside of those extreme scenarios, Tim was interested in thinking about what types of applications and experiences remain relatively unexplored for physically collocated crowds. He was inspired by the Bluetooth Generation, the kids in the mid-00's who swapped files over Bluetooth and in doing so made up networks that mixed up radio waves and bodies in a way he calls Ironic mobs.??? ???The idea he came up with was Mesh Mobs. Think of a conventional WiFi mesh network that routes data over an area greater than any one access point. Instead of mounting that mesh in buildings, streets and rooftops, mount it on ... people. Hold on. They already have WiFi in their smartphones. So they can form a mesh, a mesh that lives within the crowd and which the crowd uses. The crowd ferries data around the crowd and beyond itself. And what those ferries have in their holds -- the mobile phones in their pockets and in their hands -- is Precious Cargo.??? ???This will be the story of Precious Cargo. These Lunchtime Talks are part of Open Studio Friday, which takes place at the Studio every week. Do you want to find out what is going on at the Pervasive Media Studio? Are you interested in meeting our residents, talking about a specific project or curious about pervasive media? Why not pack a sandwich and join us for one of our Lunchtime Talks and Open Studio Friday. Lunchtime Talks are informal presentations by Studio residents and associates. They normally take place at 1pm on Friday, are free and open to everybody who???s interested in what we do. After the Talk, we also invite you to stay with us for the afternoon to continue the conversation or work on your own projects. We provide chairs, tables, wireless and a great space. You bring what you need to work with (laptop/mobile). Our open afternoons close at 5pm. Let us know if you???d like a tour of the new space and we'll be happy to show you around! Send an email to

Entry Cost: Free

Posted by: Verity Alexander | 23-12-2011

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