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Connecting Black Rock City with FireChat

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21st Aug 2015

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The gift of conversation is top of mind as Hub Culture and FireChat team up to enable expanded communications on the playa at this year's Burning Man via a specially designed, 30ft Signal Totem.

The FireChat service works by enabling phones to connect directly with each other, creating a peer-to-peer mesh network. While not connected to the larger Internet (so everyone can keep their freak on) the ability for people to message within range of the next node in the network creates a sweet relay capability for users to communicate locally.

To enhance FireChat's capability, the Hub Culture Camp @ A Transformation Station (located at 6:15/Geek) is building a wind powered Signal Totem including Ubiquiti 5GHz nano-stations, routers, wind generator tower kits, wind turbine power generators, power inverters, and rechargeable batteries, rising over 30 feet into the air. Together these tools will help Hub Culture to amplify the FireChat mesh and the number of users during this year's Burning Man to enable wider private messaging and shared communication.

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The Signal Totem was designed for FireChat and Hub Culture by Brady Johnson, who is also leading Hub Culture's drone efforts on the playa in his work with Angel Wing Airways, a non-profit project he created to bring drone view experiences to children in hospitals and other limited mobility situations.

The Hub Culture Camp will be homebase to FireChat's cultural conversation technology and Brady's drone, capturing sights and sounds of the playa. Tune in to HubLive.TV after Burning Man 2015 to catch highlights and to see the Signal Totem in action. Or just stop by the camp! Activites during the week include daily guided transformational meditations, face-to-face video interviews, a Thursday animal rights dinner and a Sunday potluck feast.

To access the FireChat mesh network, Burners should download FireChat prior to arriving at Burning Man.

Get it now and look for #HubCulture verified channel to find friends, Hub Culture and the new shared playa conversation.

Learn more about FireChat from their project Tumblr here.