[artinfo] HIVE Networks, DIY kit for ubiquituous computing and free networks

Armin Medosch armin at easynet.co.uk
Sun Sep 4 12:57:00 CEST 2005

*Thursday, 08.09./ 20:00 Uhr, medien.KUNSTLABOR at Kunsthaus Graz


 > Alexei Blinov/Raylab: HIVE Networks
 > with an introduction by Armin Medosch

HIVE Networks - Swarms of information generating and processing devices

HIVE Networks presents a DIY-KIT for ubiquituous computing. Thanks to
free software, free networks and free hardware media practitioners get
access to means of production where the imagination is the only limit.

Workshop: Fr, 09.09., 14.00 - 18.00 Uhr

chip shop:  application customization

Media practitioners, artists and developers are invited to share their 
visions of
future applications for HIVE networks.

Both presentation and workshop are free. Please register if you want to
participate in the workshop via email to: hive at kunstlabor.at

HIVE Networks - DIY kit for ubiquituous computing and free networking

Alexei Blinov of Raylab and a group of collaborators have set out to
create an exciting project, HIVE Networks, which promises to change the
perception of ubiquituous or pervasive computing. HIVE combines the
virtues of free software, free networks and open hardware to generate a
framework for virtually any type of networked media application.

The group of indpendent programmers, artists and electronics
specialists imagine swarms of intelligent network devices which all
collaborate, facilitate media applications such as audio and video
streaming and create clouds of free bandwidth using ad-hoc networking

The hardware basis currently is a customized Asus wireless dard drive.
The firmware has been replaced with Linux and a cross-compilation tool
kit has been developed. What this means is that any sort of application
can be made to run on the cheap hardware which costs about 50 Euros a
piece. For instance, a responsive environment could be built, using
sensors, light, audio and video; or points of information exchange
using wlan and bluetooth can be  installed spread out in urban areas,
because the individual units are cheap and replacable.

Blinov is keen to point out that the Asus boxes currently used are only
the first step towards creating a framework for HIVE applications. The
development is based on a set of key principles. The hardware has to be
as cheap as possible and function according to widely used generic
standards. The software has to be completely free and open source.
Everything else is left to the creative imagination.

Raylab invites media practitioners to participate in application
development for HIVE networks. Now that the basic toolkit has reached a
phase of stability with increasing maturity, media practitioners -
media activists, community groups, artists - are invited to come up
with ideas for applications which Raylab will try to facilitate.

Ideally, in the next phase, this should all be done via a web based
interface. The media practitioners do not have to get involved in deep
technological development. All they need to do is click a few radio
buttons to customize their own application which then will be compiled
and installed on the device.

With HIVE Networks the traditional role model, the artist who has an
idea and gets a technician to develop the technical part, gets
reversed. Here, creative technicians point out the future developments
and offer a unique platform for artists. With HIVE ubiquituous
computing takes on a new meaning. As the black box of technology is
cracked open and made accessible, virtually anything is possible.

References: HIVE Wiki http://www.hivenetworks.net
Raylab http://www.raylab.com/
contact: alexei at raylab.com
Medienkunstlabor: http://www.kunstlabor.at/

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