Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Project Placesite - A Wi-Fi hotspot social network

"Project Placesite" is a project being set up by three Berkeley University students to look at implementing wi-fi in a different way. Instead of just providing web and email access for wireless devices such as laptops, the "hotspot" launches the location's special site page rather than your regular home page. From this page you can continue on to the web if you want, or you can explore the page which contains small pics and bios of everyone in that hotspot at that time. It is only visible to people in the wireless hotspot at that time.

My immediate response was that it seemed to be purely social rather than having any functionality, e.g. ordering your favourite drink automatically or pay your bill electronically. However, from the look of the page, the idea is that is supposed to break people out of their electronic cocoon, forcing them to realise that there are people around them, each one with a story to tell. What the effect will be and whether it will work is the purpose of the experiment.

Project PlaceSite: Home Page

I'd love to see something like this set up at my own QUT Kelvin Grove campus. It seems that a lot of the time on campus there's a lot of talk about New Media but not much actual implementation. Or maybe I'm just missing something.

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