Let’s say that (a) your Android device was connected to a WIFI network, (b) that both you and a friend or friends have ‘Instabridge’ installed on your Androids, and (c) that you wanted to share WIFI access with your friend(s).
Instead of handing out the password, you could simply ‘give’ him/her access via Instabridge, using your list of contacts on your phone, much as you would send an SMS.
But there’s a peer-to-peer component as well, in that you could decide to give not just your contacts access to any WIFI you access, but their contacts as well.
The result is a network of WIFI hotspots that can extend to people you do not know. Taken to its (theoretical) logical conclusion, it could mean that you could walk across town and always have some sort of WIFI coverage, via friends or twice removed people you don’t necessarily know, friends of friends.
Here’s a video that shows how it works:
A few notes:
- It uses a contacts list: Install Instabrdige and, like Viber or Whatsapp, it will come up with a list of contacts that use Instabridge mined off your phone contacts. Giving access to your WIFI is as simple as messaging a friend.
- A Key decision: is whether to give access to friends of friends, or even ALL Instabridge users, no matter where they may be. My guess is that most people won’t share with friends of friends, but imagine if everyone did! Of course you can change your mind at any point.
- You can get a visual representation: of shared WIFI hotspots on a map, which is very cool.
- You can take access back at will: which is more convenient than changing your WIFI password.
This is a great idea for easily granting WIFI access to friends instead of giving out passwords. It really should be incorporated in the Android OS, because otherwise I do not see if picking up (at the end of the day it is easier to just share your password than get the app installed on multiple devices). Moreover, with bandwidth being charged at a per-use basis in much of the world, giving WIFI access to twice-removed strangers doesn’t seem like it might fly.
But the idea that individuals could create their own decentralized peer-to-peer meta-network of WIFI hotspots is pure genius. Perhaps in the future, but for right now it just may be very ahead of it’s time.