An intriguing new ‘art-technology’ project has hit my radar courtesy of Techkwondo. The Wifi.Bedouin is a wearable mobile 802.11b node that enables nearby WiFi devices to connect to it, but which is, itself, disconnected from the global Internet. You can therefore connect to the backpack with your WiFi device, and to other users within a small radius, but not to the Internet. The uses for this device seem limited initially, and the suggestions offered on the site seem even more so, but it is just an art project. But then I got thinking about this some more. Think of its MobSharing potential.
My idea of MobSharing requires the user of a WiFi-enabled mobile phone (such as the Nokia N91) to go to a static WiFi HotSpot, such as StarBucks, and use the WLAN to see what music files are on other WiFi-enabled mobile phones within the same location. Find something you like: simply download it over the WLAN. Don’t find something you like: come back later when other people have turned up with a different collection of tunes. With the Wifi.Bedouin, however, you don’t need to go to a known hotspot: you simply follow the guy with the strange backpack on, and connect to other Wi-Fi enabled mobile phones owned by people also following him. Again, share your music connection with others using the extremely local and extremely mobile Wireless network he establishes through his backpack. This truly is the pied-piper approach to MobSharing!