Backpack Access Point
The idea for the BackPackAp came about at itech. I (I =ColinDabritz ? -- DanRasmussen) was talking with sam (sam = SamChurchill ? -- DanRasmussen) and we thought it would be kinda cool to have a live proof of concept there, in the form of a "roaming booth."
Why a roaming backpack AP
Avoid buying booth space. Proof of the mobile concept. It's really cool. Can be run by a single person, and applies to far reaching areas. Did I mention it was really cool? Sam thought we could get it sponsored by several people at the convention and have it pay for itself, or even get paid to do it and be a point of interest for the convention. Partners could be Sprint or someone for a cellphone 'backbone' briging bandwidth to the pack. If there were any wireless providers we could use their equipment. Maybe a laptop from Gateway or something.
What would it take?
Here was the setup I had in mind:
- Large frame backpack
- strapped flat front 'desk' to hold materials
- 2 802.11b antennas for great coverage, mounted to side pack polls.
- coax from each to the laptop on the backpack running as a AP with nocatauth
- Either an outside directional sending a link in or using a sponsored phone for net connection.
- Battery. I don't know how much 2 omni's would drain a laptop battery, but Im assuming quite a bit.
- As above, a few stashed replacement batteries at someone's (ezstreets?) booth.
- Demo devices. A couple gateway laptops? or a palm or 2? something to show the idea..
PTP promo material
That's about it I think.
What could be done with it?
- Several cool ideas.
- Live webcast of Itech. Go to each of the booths (2 full 'sweeps' a day or so) and have each one give their shtick. It would be casted by a digital camera (parters?) to a highly publicised webpage. This webpage would have to be interactive for greatest effect. A web interface to a itech IRC channel perhaps. Someone with a live like to the backpack could relay questions for the booth people in. Maybe use a service like buddy phone and allow people to call in. Dunno..
- Tie in with the smart cards at the door. (they handed you a smart card that you put your information in at the door. several vendors had a reader to auto-enter you in a giveaway and stuff) Stick in your card. You instantly have a nocatauth login, like LOGIN: firstname lastname PASS: phonenumber or something like that. Also auto-enter them to win some of the demo gear (palms, laptops, wireless stuff, whatever).
- Provide a pipe to anyone with 802.11 gear! Seems kinda obvious, but may need a little advertising..
Pyrotechnics are always good attention getters..
- Free food never fails. What foods relate to 'wireless'? How about Microwave popcorn?
- Foil hats.. I want to do this just for the hell of it.
Well I ran out of ideas. anyone else feel free to add to this!
A Backpack Access Point would be a battery operated unit with both 802.11b (for the local area) and a 2.5-3G cellular phone or phone card for the backbone. Optionally BlueTooth would be used for the local area and 802.11b could link to a nearby DSL/Satellite uplink.
Consider the Stylistic for mobile access. You might plug in a W-LAN card (in the PC Card slot) and a 3G phone cord (in a CF slot) using Socket's CompactFlash adapter (it works in PC card slots too, of course).
A battery-operated, 3G phone-enabled AP might be invaluable for emergency workers or for remote, mobile access anywhere.
Look at the well deserved attention Terry Schmidt is getting for helping out with the WTC disaster: 802 Planet.
Perhaps a PocketPC could act as a battery operated AP:
- Mount it high on a rooftop or a balloon for maximum range.
- Wi-Fi could link local users while 5Ghz 80211a could provide a link to a nearby DSL/Satellite/Wireless ISP.
- Optionally a Bluetooth link connects to the 3G cellular backbone.