As I have mentioned in a previous article I have a tendency to get lost on KickStarter. It is a fantastic site, and I hope one day to utilize it myself from a developer standpoint. With CISPA breathing down the necks of every person living in the US it would appear that people are preparing for the worst. Tin-Can aspires to be an ad-hoc, slimmed down, twitter of sorts. It’s purpose is to keep all communications from being intercepted and even worse, censored. It would also work in the event of a global internet outage. The men behind it are Jakob Virgil and Mark Katakowski. I spoke to Mark earlier about Tin-Cans proposed purpose. He had this to say:
“One purpose is to simply enable our phones to do something they should be able to do. In a real way, the technologies that we carry are limited by factors that we often don’t consider. Simply making Tin-Can is in part an exercise in raising awareness. Tin-Can represents technology working for people in a people-centered way.”
Tin-Can, in a nutshell
You might be wondering, like I did, how Tin-Can achieves this feat with current generation devices. Tin-Can uses your phone’s Wi-Fi to broadcast and receive on an encrypted network, that only other Tin-Can users can access. From there it works on a similar principle to Twitter, insofar as users must subscribe to an individual’s unique ID. There is, obviously many possible uses for Tin-Can. Mark continued to say this:
“As described, we hope that Tin-Can can be found useful in situations where network access is limited, like in a disaster, or blocked as in a protest; however, we also imagine that it will be used in ways that we don’t yet anticipate. In the short-term, we feel Tin-Can could be perfectly compelling as a whimsical and spontaneous communication platform. Just looking at the ‘firehose’ of messages that hop onto and off of your phone will give a unique perspective on the public consciousness. We intend to evolve Tin-Can in response to what users decide to do with it, and we have actually employed some ideas that we have received as feedback in this development stage. We also plan to extend Tin-Can to other devices such as laptops. One might look at Tin-Can and think that we have a grand scheme. Perhaps we do, but it is one that Tin-Can can communicate better than I.”
There is just a few hours left on KickStarter to get this project funded. With $1,307 already pledge to the goal of $1,800 they are most of the way there. So head on over to the project page and see if its worth your pledge. It’s certainly worth mine. If all goes well it is projected to be out by June.