Wardriving in a Virtual Reality bus

I’ve been using Wifi while commuting by bus a lot this week, reminded me of this project proposal I made in 2002 back when I was studying towards the Interactive Media MA at UL. It was for our ‘Interactive Media in Public Spaces’, as taught by Enda O’Donoghue.

The presentation shown above had 2 possible themes for my project, the first was changing the bus commuting experience for the better through design and interactive technologies.

It has a whole bunch of random ideas including equipping bus coaches with Virtual Reality headsets for each passenger and concept sketches for a modular bus made up out of people’s cars, and a circular bus where everyone’s facing each other.

At this time wardriving with Pringles cans modified into Cantennas was an emerging hacker trend, wifi networks were even less secure than now. So one concept was that the bus stops and shelters would act as the transmission points for the mobile network signal, with each bus as a node in a citywide wireless network. In effect the bus drivers are wardrivers of sorts, feeding off each others wifi signals.

The second theme explored was a reactive building, I looked a little into the possibilities of holograms and also physically altering the structure of the building. I must have been influenced by Daniel Rosin’s Wooden Mirror.

Anyhows, I went with the Bus idea and wrote up a treatment for a commercial solution called BuSpace.

BuSpace equips each bus with a wired, local area network. 2001 was the pre-smartphone era and Wifi wasn’t the ubiquitous standard it is today. Each bus would be equipped with a BuSpace server suitcase containing a laptop, GSM transmitter/receiver which plugged into a network point in the floor. The signal was then fed to network points on the back of each headrest, serving up WAP speed internet data to laptops, PDAs or mobile phones with (magical!) proprietary BuSpace cables…

Anyhows, this has been sitting on my computer HD for a long while, but I thought I’d put it out there. As someone wise once said “Publish or be damned” :)

28. April 2011 by Kieran
Categories: Design, Interaction Design, Wifi | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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