Opportunity for work related to wireless connectivity
@Mix and I were in a video call today with Michiel Leenaars from NLnet and Paul Gardner-Stephen, and among many other things, we discussed the possibility of a new #NGI grant program starting soon about resilient civil communications.
One real possibility is to start drafting a grant project about viral wireless connections for SSB replication. The explain-it-like-I'm-5 goal is that you could drive a car around a town (or a boat along a river in the Amazon) and whatever mobile devices with Manyverse installed would automatically connect to the device in the car, and replicate SSB feeds. Currently, replication is very manual and not quick, e.g. in Manyverse with Bluetooth connections you have to put two devices close to each other, press "sync" and pray that it works. Ideally, devices would discover each other automatically in the background as soon as they are within ~10 meters of each other, and whether or not they have seen each other in the past, they would connect to each other and run EBT replication to sync content ASAP.
Whether the above is actually possible or not is not a blocker, we can also do a survey of the current tools available, such as these (potentially more): Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Aware, Apple MultipeerConnectivity, Apple Wireless Direct Link (AWDL), Open Wireless Link (OWL), OpenDrop, Bluetooth 5, etc. And then if it is possible, we could work on providing viral wireless connections as a library (say, in C, with bindings for Java for Android, Objective C or Swift for iOS, and Node.js for Electron) with the goal of putting in Manyverse, and in production. This would be mostly an independent sister project to Manyverse, but just using Manyverse to validate the usefulness of the solution.
I don't know yet how many persons could work on this, but it seems like a sizable amount of work: survey of current tech, C library, API bindings for iOS/Android/Electron, so maybe it's 2 persons or 3. But the message from NLnet is clear: there is funding for this kind of thing. I'm looking to build a team early, before there's hurry to write a grant proposal.
My questions are:
- Anyone out there in SSB have the expertise in this, and the availability and interest to start drafting a grant proposal?
- Anyone has studied or currently works at TU Darmstadt Secure Mobile Networking Lab? Given that they've made Open Wireless Link, they would be excellent folks to work with to make progress on something like this