[guardian-dev] FireChat is iOS mesh chat

Chris Ballinger chrisballinger at gmail.com
Fri Mar 21 18:08:28 EDT 2014


I have been thinking about doing mesh chat for a while but I haven't found
a great way to bridge the gap between iOS and Android. When using BLE on
iOS (instead of multipeerconnectivity) I don't think it's possible to act
as a sender and a receiver at the same time in the background, it's either
one or the other.


On Fri, Mar 21, 2014 at 11:26 AM, James Moore <hello at jmoore.me> wrote:

> At the recent Open ITP UX Sprint I discussed the idea of using Apple’s
> multipeer framework to build an anonymous chat app very much like Firechat.
> What I wanted in addition to what Firechat provides is
>
> * Up/down voting of individual messages to help cull bad actors
> * Store and forward of messages to extend the range beyond a single device
> pairing (I don’t know if this is possible with MPF)
> * instant image/video/location distribution
>
> I saw this as being potentially useful in a large crowd situation where
> you need to distribute information quickly with zero setup. Paired with a
> technology like Informacam you can imagine not only getting the images sent
> up to a trusted repository but “out” to people on the ground who need to
> know something immediately. Location sharing could be useful in moving
> protests to help direct the crowd.
>
> My hope is that the voodoo involved in negotiating a connection gets
> opened up or cracked so non-iOS devices can join in the fun.
>
> If anyone’s interested in creating a project like this with me hit me up
> off-list and we’ll discuss.
>
>         James
>
> On Mar 21, 2014, at 10:00 AM, Josh Steiner <josh at vitriolix.com> wrote:
>
> > The marketing-speak description sounds really interesting:
> >
> > "FireChat For iOS Is A Hyperlocal Anonymous Chat Network That Doesn't
> > Need An Internet Connection"
> >
> >
> http://techcrunch.com/2014/03/20/firechat-for-ios-is-a-hyper-local-anonymous-chat-network-that-doesnt-need-an-internet-connection/
> >
> > Anyone seen any good detailed writeups of the tech behind the scenes?
> > I found a few interesting posts about the iOS proprietary mesh, but it
> > sounds like FireChat adds their own store-and-forward on top of this
> > if they are claiming 100ft+ range
> >
> > -Josh
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