There are lots of moments where we can consider that having a mobile is a good thing, but might not be the preferred thing. For example, there are moments like when families come together where having our mobiles handy to take photos is good. But, when that reason is for a funeral, then we might want to reconsider such things.
Now, being out in the desert, one had to consider a mobile as a pretty necessary thing. And if you can grab a signal then you are doing even better. So, what if you were in the desert, or knew that you were going there, how would you go about building a network? What kinds of concerns would you be able to address, or need to leave behind?
The Burning Man event is an exercise is living on another edge. On that edge, some, interesting things happen. Over the past few years, I’ve been following how mobiles have changed the landscape of communicaitons at Burning Man, and what that has meant for some of he participants. In this snippet from Tech Crunch, we get a glimpse of what it is like to run a network at Burning Man:
…Every year we do this, we learn new lessons. Last year we learned that a cloud telephony API (Tropo in our case) works best if it is run inside the carrier’s network, a lesson we applied when we partnered with Deutsche Telekom who recently announced that they are offering the Tropo API on their network. This means that, for the first time ever, over 100k Tropo developers can now run their apps (with no changes) inside a carrier network.
This year’s lesson is about customisation, we used our position inside the network at Burning Man to change the user’s experience of the phone service, we created web-style metrics to see what worked and what doesn’t. You simply can’t do that stuff if you aren’t right in the centre of the network, being on the edges doesn’t cut it. We have already been busy applying that knowledge to the Tropo APIs we offer our customers and partners in the near future…
So, if it’s possible to build your own mobile network, and it’s also possible to own a mobile that can work on various types of networks, what can be done beyond simply communicating? And then further, in what spaces could mobiles be a good fit, or not fit so well, despite our best intentions towards being connected or not?