Table of Contents


“Sometimes the restrictions inherent in a medium are what give it its power. Look at twitter - it limits you to 140 characters. Look at SMS messages, with their lousy interface - a short call is quicker and more effective for communicating, yet text messages are incredibly popular.”

“Yes, but this is even more restrictive - just one character! Not so much twitter as just t

(Conversation between Steve Daniels & James Wallbank at the GOSH! Conference, Banff, July 2009.)

  • The network we envisage is effectively a free, open, one character text network across the city of Sheffield. We propose the name “t” (which is the initial character of both Twitter, Toronto, and the Englishman's favourite beverage). We suggest pronouncing it simply as a “tick” sound (no vowels) representing a single click of data. (This pronunciation is also common Yorkshire dialect for “the”, as in “Ee's down t' pub” - “He's down [at] the pub”.)


  • “The Pond” (developed by researcher Steve Daniels at Ryerson University, Toronto) constitutes a peer-to-peer very low bandwidth IP network which will have the capacity to transmit characters (up to 13 bits) wirelessly.
  • Steve's design has been informed by the impulse to use as little technology as possible to get the message through. He's has envisaged that early applications of “The Pond” may include robotic control or home automation.
  • Another possible application may be person-to-person contacts - particularly relevant to people living on very low incomes, who sometimes have access neither to a landline, wifi, nor a mobile phone with credit.
  • Access Space proposes to use The Pond for this human network initially, with the view that, by developing a knowledgeable user-base of the technology, other applications, such as robotic control and home automation will be suggested and developed by users.

The Vision

  • Initially Access Space proposes to run workshops with participants in its community, inviting people to build their own 't' handset which they can then take away and use. This'll introduce a whole constituency (initial target: 32 handsets, plus 16 remote nodes) to a bunch of diverse people who are involved with ICT experimentation and a skill-sharing social community.

To Do

  • Initially the team needs to develop a funding plan to resource this project.
  • We will need to develop a design for the initial handset.
  • We'll need to develop non-intrusive designs for the relays.
  • We will need to develop software for the handsets.
  • We will need to develop a delivery plan.
  • We need to consider ongoing procedures in running the project over an extended period.
t/start.txt · Last modified: 2009/09/15 10:39 by james
Except where otherwise noted, content on this wiki is licensed under the following license:CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Recent changes RSS feed Donate Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki